THE VIRTUAL UNIVERSE by Matthew Raspanti


Philosophy, Physics and the Nature of Things
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Virtual reality is an all-encompassing simulation generated by algorithms to create artificial environments, as well as a metaphor used to clarify the mysterious paradoxes in our universe that have been explored by philosophers and confirmed by leading physicists.

Raspanti attempts to fit all the scientific laws describing nature under the umbrella of virtual reality, in which everything is regulated by an omnipresent entity. He also uses that structure as a means of clarifying the counterintuitive foundation of modern physics. For ages, scientists, philosophers and physicists have attempted to organize the observed patterns of natural phenomena in our universe, from the elliptical orbits of the planets in the solar system calculated by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler, to the behavior of electrons, protons and neutrons in a highly charged, unseen quantum subspace envisioned by the eminent American physicist Richard Feynman. Raspanti is an experienced guide in the fields of philosophy, metaphysics and the branches of classical and modern physics, which include quantum theory. He lays out the philosophical and intellectual leanings of various major personalities in the history of science and delineates a wide swath of historical theories, e.g., Pythagoras' idea that the natural world is represented by numbers; the mechanistic conceptions of Isaac Newton towards the revolutionary thought experiments of modern physicists such as Albert Einstein; Werner Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, which asserts that the depth of an observation of a phenomenon at the quantum level is always finite and open to ambiguity. It requires a leap of faith to accept Raspanti's attempts to structure the elaborate present-day worldview developed by scientists within the context of his virtual-reality assumptions, but his conversational style, free of mathematical equations and symbols, makes this an entertaining introduction to physics and the nature of things in our universe–and well-worth that jump.

An enjoyable virtual romp through the universe.

Pub Date: March 27th, 2000
ISBN: 1-58721-142-4
Program: Kirkus Indie
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