A Tear at the Edge of Creation

A Tear at the Edge of Creation

A Radical New Vision for Life in an Imperfect Universe

By Marcelo Gleiser

Dartmouth, Paperback, 9781611683974, 312pp.

Publication Date: August 2013

The search for universal truth, the underlying "oneness" connecting all things, has been the abiding obsession of philosophers and alchemists, prophets and string theorists. We would cross a bridge from Occam's razor to quantum theory on a path of symmetry and elegance toward a grand, unifying Theory of Everything--a place, just over the horizon, where the physical laws governing very large bodies (Einstein's theory of relativity) and those governing tiny ones (quantum mechanics) unite in a single, orderly framework. Yet somehow, despite the strivings of some of history's best minds, it turns out that the universe is probably not elegant. It is most likely gloriously messy. In A Tear at the Edge of Creation, the award-winning physicist Marcelo Gleiser argues that the quest for a Theory of Everything is fundamentally misguided: imbalance, asymmetry, and imperfection--not order--are the engines of creation. In this lucid, down-to-earth narrative, which has been translated into twelve languages, Gleiser walks us through the basic and cutting-edge science that fueled his own transformation from unifier to doubter: a fascinating scientific quest that leads him--and us--to a new understanding of what it is to be human.

About the Author
Marcelo Gleiser is the Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy and professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College and the author of The Dancing Universe: From Creation Myths to the Big Bang.