Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

The End of Discovery: Are We Approaching the Boundaries of the Knowable? 1st Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199645718
ISBN-10: 9780199645718
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$9.18 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$16.95 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
36 New from $1.10 30 Used from $0.01 1 Collectible from $12.99
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke Ph.D.
"The Grid" by Gretchen Bakke Ph.D.
Charting the history of our electrical grid, Bakke helps us see what we all take for granted, shows it as central to our culture and identity as a people, and reveals it to be the linchpin in our aspirations for a clean energy future. Learn more
$16.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Around 1900, many scientists declared that they knew all there was to know. Now, a century later, particle physicist Stannard (Relativity: A Very Short Introduction) throws out a list of scientific problems that he thinks may never be resolved. An infamous problem is string theory: this idea that minuscule vibrating "strings" are the lowest possible denominators of existence passes all the mathematical smell tests, but the odds of its being experimentally proven anytime soon are about as minuscule as strings themselves. Or take consciousness: will we ever understand the interplay between free will and determinism? And is it true that we live in a "block universe" in which our entire lives are already embedded in time--and that we just haven't reached the frames in our future? Stannard is at heart a popularizer of science, and his "end of science" approach is a hook on which to hang a survey of the perplexing theories floating around science today. His presentation is clear enough for even science-savvy high school students--who may be challenged to try to solve Stannard's intractable problems. 23 illus. (Nov.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Review from previous edition: "Lucid and provocative, it is a very polite corrective to both superstitions of the layman and the triumphalism of the experts." --New Statesman

"A lucid tour." --Simon Mitton, THES

"Stannard takes readers on a tour of some of the deepest questions facing science." --The Independent
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (May 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780199645718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199645718
  • ASIN: 019964571X
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.9 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,558,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
0%
4 star
88%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
12%
See all 8 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've been reading this type of book since the 1970s, and there were still things that had confused me about some of the common topics. I found this one made many of them much clearer. I found the author's approach to his subject rather clever, because so few authors look at such topics from the point of view of limits. The mode is usually to imagine the possibilities as though there were no limits. Some of the topics upon which the author expounds have to do with the inherent limits of the human mind/brain to comprehend and some are bounded by what can be known or more than inferred. In this frame it is almost a philosophy of what is knowable.

While the book is probably a little oversimplified for anyone who has read on this topic for any length of time, it is a good place to start. The similes are clear and are rarely taken to extremes. It also reveals how physicists approach their subject and how, when and why breakthroughs occur.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If this book did anything to turn my head around, it is to realize that so much of cosmology and advanced physics is so much mathematics on paper- for example, empirical science can never prove or disprove string theory, M theory, etc., etc. And then to consider the idea of Hawking's universe from nothing, why, it's really so much "fairy tale" physics, and not any more convincing an argument than intelligent design. Also, the overused atheist argument of the "God of the gaps" truly falls apart when you realize that science is creating ever more "gaps" in which to rush and fill with other, material explanations. I suspect both theists and atheists have it wrong. The universe is not what it seems and its hubris for science and religion to think they have the answers, especially the Big Question: Why is anything here to begin with? The author, a respected scientist, led this reader to realize, that the ultimate "why" of things is most likely, forever, beyond our grasp.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Writing from the frontier where science and philosophy meet, the physicist Russell Stannard in his book, 'The End of Discovery' has set out to tackle some of of the most intractable problems confronting science; in an attempt to expose what could be the limits of science.

The question left to readers and reviewers to answer is, 'has he succeeded on his mission?' Some may argue that he has not. For instance, a review on forteantimes.com accused Mr. Stannard of writing from a christian slant.

Readers do need to understand the perspective that authors are writing from, especially if they are lay readers like myself. However, having surveyed some of the literature, I feel that Mr. Stannard has pointed out some of the major issues confronting science today. Whether they prove to be limitations to our knowledge only time will tell..

Mr. Stannard begins with an analysis of the problem of consciousness and the mind – body problem, discussing at length the problem of free will versus determination. He continues with an overview of the origins of the universe and why there is a universe at all, illustrating how our current scientific methods cannot solve what happened before the big bang or even the first few seconds after the big bang.

He continues with an overview of the 'anthropic principle,' and why the universe had a specific set of conditions that fostered the development of sentient life. He finds it remarkable that life could have begun by chance alone, ordering itself to create consciousness.

In a short overview of space and time, he discusses the nature of time, illustrating how space and time are connected.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This is an ambitious yet accessible book that spans the universe from its creation to yesterday and includes pretty much everything in it. Physicist and professor Russell Stannard, a confident guide through this complex and, at times, contradictory territory, proves skilled at analogies and visualizations, and sympathetic over the difficulty of the questions he raises. These are mind-shattering inquiries: thoughts about thoughts and observations about observations. The author presents this confusion as the status quo and illuminates how all the contradictions of physics still come together to define a universe. Stannard also reminds the reader that everything he describes could be obsolete tomorrow. He provides perspective for - and getAbstract recommends this book to - all those interested in science, predictions of the future, philosophy and human nature.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The End of Discovery: Are We Approaching the Boundaries of the Knowable?
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The End of Discovery: Are We Approaching the Boundaries of the Knowable?