The marvellous complexity of the Universe emerges from several deep
laws and a handful of fundamental constants that fix its shape,
scale, and destiny. There is a deep structure to the world which at
the same time is simple, elegant, and beautiful. Where did these
laws and these constants come from? And why are the laws so
fruitful when written in the language of mathematics? Peter Atkins
considers the minimum effort needed to equip the Universe with its
laws and its constants. He explores the origin of the conservation
of energy, of electromagnetism, of classical and quantum mechanics,
and of thermodynamics, showing how all these laws spring from deep
symmetries. The revolutionary result is a short but immensely rich
weaving together of the fundamental ideas of physics. With his
characteristic wit, erudition, and economy, Atkins sketches out how
the laws of Nature can spring from very little. Or arguably from
nothing at all.
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