Last weekend my son & I made a whirlwind visit to my mother in New York and we stopped by to visit the American Museum of Natural History. Highlights include:
- the 3-D movie Earthflight where it felt like birds flew threw the theater and included an exciting sequence of gannets, dolphin, and fish all interacting underwater.
- the mind-blowing comparisons of sizes of cosmic objects in the Rose Center of Earth and Space
- The Willamette Meteorite (my son still doesn’t believe it’s real)
- paleontoligical remains of dinosaurs and ancient mammals of unusual size
Jupiter & Saturn
The Willamette meteorite
The scary giant ground sloth.
The titanosaur does not fit in one room.
Knowing is half the battle.
Related post: Photopost: American Museum of Natural History (2015)
Author: Marcelo Gleiser
Title: A Tear at the Edge of Creation
Publication Info: New York, NY : Free Press, 2010.
Gleiser’s work is an attempt to offer an alternate route to the scientific notions of Grand Unifying Theories and symmetry in nature with the idea that the truth may be found in an asymmetric universe. Gleiser sums up the history of cosmology (bringing me up to date since it’s been 20 years since my college course in cosmology) in easy-to-understand language. It’s a good accessible primer in physics (with some chemistry and biology as well) with an interesting central thesis on the manner in which humans will continue to learn about the universe.
“The loss of elegance is the gain of generality. Our cosmos does not need perfection to exist.”
“If we can never know all there is to know, we will always have an element of uncertainty about the natural world. There is no final unification to be attained, only better models to describe the physical reality we can measure. Even as we improve our tools and increase our knowledge, we also expand the base of our ignorance: the farther we can see the more there is to see. As a consequence, it is impossible to contemplate a point in history when we will know all there is to know.”
Recommended books: The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman, and 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense by Michael Brooks