Frases de John David Barrow

John David Barrow Foto
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John David Barrow

Fecha de nacimiento: 29. Noviembre 1952
Otros nombres:John Barrow

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John David Barrow , matemático, cosmólogo y divulgador científico británico.

Se doctoró en Oxford en 1977. Después colaboró con los departamentos de Física y Astrofísica de la Universidad de Oxford y de la Universidad de California, Berkeley. En 1999 pasó a ser catedrático de matemáticas y de física teórica en la Universidad de Cambridge. Ese mismo año obtuvo la Kelvin Medal de la Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow.

Profesor de la Universidad de Cambridge, es célebre por sus trabajos sobre el llamado principio antrópico, según el cual las leyes físicas del universo están precisamente ajustadas para que sea posible la vida. En 1986, Barrow y Frank Tipler publicaron su famoso libro The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, en el que proponen una formulación ampliada del principio antrópico propuesto originalmente por Brandon Carter en 1974.

El sentido exacto de este principio, así como su validez y sus consecuencias, son muy discutidos; en general, se entiende como una interpretación del universo no mecanicista, sino finalista.

Barrow es miembro de la Royal Society desde 2003.[1]​ En 2006 recibió el Premio Templeton[2]​ y en 2008 el Premio Faraday de la Royal Society.[3]​ En 2015, el Instituto de Física le concedió la medalla Dirac.[4]​

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Frases John David Barrow

„While we have no reason to expect that our position in the universe is special in every way, we would be equally misled were we to assume that it could not be special in any way.“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: While we have no reason to expect that our position in the universe is special in every way, we would be equally misled were we to assume that it could not be special in any way.<!--ch. 2, p. 22

„This may be the low-impact evolutionary path you need to follow in order to survive into the far, far future.“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: Continual miniaturisation allows resources to be conserved, efficiency to be increased, pollution to be reduced, and the remarkable flexibilities of the quantum world to be tapped. Very advanced civilizations elsewhere in the universe may have been force to follow the same technological path. Their nano-scale space probes, their atomic-scale machines and nano-computers, would be imperceptible to our course-grained surveys of the universe.... This may be the low-impact evolutionary path you need to follow in order to survive into the far, far future.<!--ch. 2, pp. 23-24

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„Parmenides' influential arguments against the concept of empty space“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: The Greek tradition was a complete contrast to that of the Far East.... the Greeks placed logic at the pinnacle of human thinking. Their sceptical attitude towards the wielding of 'non-being' as some sort of 'something' that could be subject to logical development was exemplified by Parmenides' influential arguments against the concept of empty space.... He maintained that you can only speak about what is: what is not cannot be thought of, and what cannot be thought of cannot be.... more unexpected was the further conclusion that time, motion nor change could exist either. chapter one "Zero—The Whole Story"<!-- p. 40-->

„Aristotle believed that the world did not come into being at some time in the past; it had always existed and it would always exist, unchanged in essence for ever. He placed a high premium on symmetry“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: Aristotle believed that the world did not come into being at some time in the past; it had always existed and it would always exist, unchanged in essence for ever. He placed a high premium on symmetry and believed that the sphere was the most perfect of all shapes. Hence the universe must be spherical.... An important feature of the spherical shape... was the fact that when a sphere rotates it does not cut into empty space where there is no matter and it leaves no empty space behind.... A vacuum was impossible. It could no more exist than an infinite physical quantity.... Circular motion was the most perfect and natural movement of all.<!--ch. 1, pp. 12-13

„If we used our discriminatory power to full, we could generate an undulating sea of sound that displayed continuously changing frequency rather like the undersea sonic songs of dolphins and whales.“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: Our sensitivity to changes of pitch... is underused in musical sound. Western music, in particular, is based on scales that use pitch changes that are at least twenty times bigger than the smallest changes that we could perceive. If we used our discriminatory power to full, we could generate an undulating sea of sound that displayed continuously changing frequency rather like the undersea sonic songs of dolphins and whales.<!-- Ch. 5, p. 225

„We are products of a past world where sensitivities to certain things were a matter of life or death.“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: The Universe has imposed aspects of its structure upon us by the inevitability of the forces of Nature... In a world where adapters succeed, but non-adapters fail, one expects to find vestigial remnants... Many of these adaptations... give rise to a suite of curious byproducts, some of which have played a role in determining our aesthetic sense. We are products of a past world where sensitivities to certain things were a matter of life or death.<!-- Ch. 6, p.246

„Where there is life there is a pattern, and where there is a pattern there is mathematics.“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: Where there is life there is a pattern, and where there is a pattern there is mathematics. Once that germ of rationality and order exists to turn a chaos into a cosmos, then so does mathematics. There could not be a non-mathematical Universe containing living observers.<!-- Ch. 5, p. 230

„Scientific pictures are often not just about science.“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: Scientific pictures are often not just about science. They may... have an undeniable aesthetic quality. They may even have been primarily works of art that possess a scientific message. Introduction

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„In general, the shorter the possible representation... the less random... On this view we recognize science to be the search for algorithmic compressions.“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: We say that the string is 'random' if there is no other representation of the string which is shorter than itself. But we will say that it is 'non-random' if there does exist such an abbreviated representation.... In general, the shorter the possible representation... the less random... On this view we recognize science to be the search for algorithmic compressions.<!--Ch. 1, p. 11

„The laws of Nature are based upon the existence of a pattern,“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: The laws of Nature are based upon the existence of a pattern, linking one state of affairs to another; and where there is pattern, there is symmetry. Yet... the symmetries that the laws enshrine are broken in... outcomes. Suppose that we balance a needle on its point and then release it. The law of gravity, which governs its subsequent motion, is perfectly democratic. It has no preference for any particular direction in the Universe: it is symmetrical in this respect. Yet, when the needle falls, it must fall in a particular direction. The directional symmetry of the underlying law is broken, therefore... By the same token, the fallen needle hides the symmetry of the law... Such 'symmetry-breaking' governs much of what we see in the Universe... It allows a Universe governed by a small number of symmetrical laws to manifest an infinite diversity of complex, asymmetrical states. This is how the Universe can be at once, simple and complicated.<!-- Ch. 2, pp. 36-37

„If one looks at the special problems that were the mainsprings of progress along the oldest and most persistent lines of human inquiry, then one finds Nothing, suitably disguised as something, never far from the centre of things.“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: If one looks at the special problems that were the mainsprings of progress along the oldest and most persistent lines of human inquiry, then one finds Nothing, suitably disguised as something, never far from the centre of things. Preface

„Medieval students... believed all forms of harmony to derive from a common source“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: Ancient belief in a cosmos composed of spheres, producing music as angels guided them through the heavens, was still fluorishing in Elizabethan times.... There is a good deal more to Pythagorean musical theory than celestial harmony. Besides the music of the celestial spheres (musica mundana), two other varieties of music were distinguished: the sound of instruments...(musica instrumentalis), and the continuous unheard music that emanated from the human body (musica humana), which arises from a resonance between the body and the soul.... In the medieval world, the status of music is revealed by its position within the Quadrivium—the fourfold curriculum—alongside arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy. Medieval students... believed all forms of harmony to derive from a common source. Before Boethius' studies in the ninth century, the idea of musical harmony was not considered independently of wider matters of celestial or ethical harmony.<!-- Ch. 5, pp. 201-202

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„Continual miniaturisation allows resources to be conserved, efficiency to be increased, pollution to be reduced, and the remarkable flexibilities of the quantum world to be tapped.“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: Continual miniaturisation allows resources to be conserved, efficiency to be increased, pollution to be reduced, and the remarkable flexibilities of the quantum world to be tapped. Very advanced civilizations elsewhere in the universe may have been force to follow the same technological path. Their nano-scale space probes, their atomic-scale machines and nano-computers, would be imperceptible to our course-grained surveys of the universe.... This may be the low-impact evolutionary path you need to follow in order to survive into the far, far future.<!--ch. 2, pp. 23-24

„Gradually, over the last twenty years, the vacuum has turned out to be more unusual, more fluid, less empty, and less intangible than even Einstein could have imagined.“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: The spooky ether was persistent. It took an Einstein to remove it from the Universe.... Gradually, over the last twenty years, the vacuum has turned out to be more unusual, more fluid, less empty, and less intangible than even Einstein could have imagined. Its presence is felt on the very smallest and largest dimensions over which the forces of Nature act. Preface

„Mathematics became an experimental subject. Individuals could follow previously intractable problems by simply watching what happened when they were programmed into a personal computer.“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: Mathematics became an experimental subject. Individuals could follow previously intractable problems by simply watching what happened when they were programmed into a personal computer.... The PC revolution has made science more visual and more immediate.... by creating films of imaginary experiences of mathematical worlds.... Words are no longer enough. Introduction

„The quantum revolution showed us why the old picture of a vacuum as an empty box was untenable“

—  John D. Barrow
Context: The quantum revolution showed us why the old picture of a vacuum as an empty box was untenable.... Gradually, this exotic new picture of quantum nothingness succumbed to experimental exploration... in the form of vacuum tubes, light bulbs and X-rays. Now the 'empty' space itself started to be probed.... There was always something left: a vacuum energy that permeated every fibre of the Universe. chapter nought "Nothingology—Flying to Nowhere"<!-- p. 10-->

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