The Rainbow and the Worm: The Physics of Organisms

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World Scientific, 2008 - Science - 380 pages
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This highly unusual book began as a serious inquiry into Schr dinger's question, ?What is life??, and as a celebration of life itself. It takes the reader on a voyage of discovery through many areas of contemporary physics, from non-equilibrium thermodynamics and quantum optics to liquid crystals and fractals, all necessary for illuminating the problem of life. In the process, the reader is treated to a rare and exquisite view of the organism, gaining novel insights not only into the physics, but also into ?the poetry and meaning of being alive.?This much-enlarged third edition includes new findings on the central role of biological water in organizing living processes; it also completes the author's novel theory of the organism and its applications in ecology, physiology and brain science.
 

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User Review  - trouthe - LibraryThing

Fascinating, though I really can't claim the expertise (or, honestly, the interest) to understand more than one hundredth of the book. It is really not the pop-sci book I was expecting, and the ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER 1 WHAT IS IT TO BE ALIVE?
1
CHAPTER 2 DO ORGANISMS CONTRAVENE THE SECOND LAW?
13
CHAPTER 3 CAN THE SECOND LAW COPE WITH ORGANISED COMPLEXITY?
24
CHAPTER 4 ENERGY FLOW AND LIVING CYCLES
38
CHAPTER 5 HOW TO CATCH A FALLING ELECTRON
62
CHAPTER 6 TOWARDS A THERMODYNAMICS OF ORGANISED COMPLEXITY
79
CHAPTER 7 SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS AS ORGANISMS
97
CHAPTER 8 THE SEVENTYTHREE OCTAVES OF NATURES MUSIC
109
CHAPTER 13 HOW COHERENT IS THE ORGANISM? SENSITIVITY TO WEAK ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS
179
CHAPTER 14 LIFE IS ALL THE COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW IN A WORM
192
CHAPTER 15 THE LIQUID CRYSTALLINE ORGANISM
212
CHAPTER 16 CRYSTAL CONSCIOUSNESS
228
CHAPTER 17 LIQUID CRYSTALLINE WATER
246
CHAPTER 18 QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT AND COHERENCE
269
CHAPTER 19 IGNORANCE OF THE EXTERNAL OBSERVER
302
CHAPTER 20 TIME AND FREEWILL
317

CHAPTER 9 COHERENT EXCITATIONS OF THE BODY ELECTRIC
124
CHAPTER 10 THE SOLIDSTATE CELL
132
CHAPTER 11 LIFE IS A LITTLE ELECTRIC CURRENT
148
CHAPTER 12 HOW COHERENT IS THE ORGANISM? THE HEARTBEAT OF HEALTH
158
REFERENCES
337
SUBJECT INDEX
367
AUTHOR INDEX
375
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