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The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III: Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured : Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family - Peter Byrne

The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III: Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured

Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family

Hardcover

Published: 6th May 2010
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Peter Byrne tells the story of Hugh Everett III (1930-1982), whose "many worlds" theory of multiple universes has had a profound impact on physics and philosophy. Using Everett's unpublished papers (recently discovered in his son's basement) and dozens of interviews with his friends, colleagues, and surviving family members, Byrne paints, for the general reader, a detailed portrait of the genius who invented an astonishing way of describing our complex universe from the inside. Everett's mathematical model (called the "universal wave function") treats all possible events as "equally real," and concludes that countless copies of every person and thing exist in all possible configurations spread over an infinity of universes: many worlds.
Afflicted by depression and addictions, Everett strove to bring rational order to the professional realms in which he played historically significant roles. In addition to his famous interpretation of quantum mechanics, Everett wrote a classic paper in game theory; created computer algorithms that revolutionized military operations research; and performed pioneering work in artificial intelligence for top secret government projects. He wrote the original software for targeting cities in a nuclear hot war; and he was one of the first scientists to recognize the danger of nuclear winter. As a Cold Warrior, he designed logical systems that modeled "rational" human and machine behaviors, and yet he was largely oblivious to the emotional damage his irrational personal behavior inflicted upon his family, lovers, and business partners.
He died young, but left behind a fascinating record of his life, including correspondence with such philosophically inclined physicists as Niels Bohr, Norbert Wiener, and John Wheeler. These remarkable letters illuminate the long and often bitter struggle to explain the paradox of measurement at the heart of quantum physics. In recent years, Everett's solution to this mysterious problem-the existence of a universe of universes-has gained considerable traction in scientific circles, not as science fiction, but as an explanation of physical reality.

`In this biography, Peter Byrne bravely explores both the life and the science of Hugh Everett, the brilliant creator of the "many worlds" concept who burned himself out at an early age. As Byrne makes clear, Everett's startling achievements in physics stood against his startling deficiencies as a husband and father.' Kenneth W. Ford, retired director, American Institute of Physics.

Book 1: Beginnings Introduction: The Story of Q 1: Family Origins: a Sketch 2: Katharine: the Dark Star 3: The Scientist as a Young Man 4: Stranger in Paradise Book 2: Game World 5: Demigods 6: Decisions, Decisions-the Theory of Games 7: Origin of MAD 8: von Neumann's Legacy Book 3: Quantum World 9: Quantum Everett 10: More on the Measurement Problem 11: Collapse and Complementarity 12: The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics Book 4: Everett and Wheeler 13: Wheeler: the Radical Conservative 14: Genesis of Many Worlds 15: Alone in the Room 16: Tour of Many Worlds 17: The Battle with Copenhagen, Part I 18: The Battle with Copenhagen, Part II 19: The Chapel Hill Affair Book 5: Possible World Futures 20: Preparing for World War III 21: From Wargasm to Looking Glass 22: Fallout Book 6: Crossroads 23: A Bell Jar World 24: A Vacation in Copenhagen Book 7: Assured Destruction 25: Everett and Report 50 26: Everett and the SIOP Book 8: Transitions 27: Behind Closed Doors 28: Death's Other Kingdoms Book 9: Beltway Bandit 29: Weaponeering 30: The Bayesian Machine 31: The Death of Lambda Book 10: Many Worlds Reborn 32: DeWitt to the Rescue 33: Records in Time 34: Austin 35: Wheeler Recants Book 11: American Tragedy 36: The Final Years 37: Aftermath Book 12: Everett's Legacy 38: Modern Everett 39: Everett Goes to Oxford Epilogue: Beyond Many Worlds

ISBN: 9780199552276
ISBN-10: 0199552274
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 452
Published: 6th May 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.4  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.92