Download The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe Audiobook

The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe Audiobook, by Stephon Alexander Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Stephon Alexander Narrator: Don Hagen Publisher: Recorded Books: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781469034300
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More than fifty years ago, John Coltrane drew the twelve musical notes in a circle and connected them by straight lines, forming a five-pointed star. Inspired by Einstein, Coltrane had put physics and geometry at the core of his music. Physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander returns the favor, using jazz to answer physics’ most vexing questions about the past and future of the universe.

Following the great minds that first drew the links between music and physics—a list including Pythagoras, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, and Rakim—The Jazz of Physics revisits the ancient realm where music, physics, and the cosmos were one. This cosmological journey accompanies Alexander’s own tale of struggling to reconcile his passion for music and physics, from taking music lessons as a boy in the Bronx to studying theoretical physics at Imperial College, London’s inner sanctum of string theory. Playing the saxophone and improvising with equations, Alexander uncovered the connection between the fundamental waves that make up sound and the fundamental waves that make up everything else. As he reveals, the ancient poetic idea of the “music of the spheres,” taken seriously, clarifies confounding issues in physics.

Whether you are more familiar with Brian Greene or Brian Eno, John Coltrane or John Wheeler, the Five Percent Nation or why the universe is less than five percent visible, there is a new discovery on every page. Covering the entire history of the universe from its birth to its fate, its structure on the smallest and largest scales, The Jazz of Physics will fascinate and inspire anyone interested in the mysteries of our universe, music, and life itself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In the most engaging chapters of this book—part memoir, part history of science, part physics popularization and part jazz lesson—Dr. Alexander ventures far out onto the cutting edge of modern cosmology, presenting a compelling case for vibration and resonance being at the heart of the physical structure we find around us, from the smallest particle of matter to the largest clusters of galaxies…. His report on the state of research into the structure and history of the universe—his own academic field—makes for compelling reading, as does his life story.”

    New York Times

  • “[Alexander] gives an engaging account of his uncertainties and worries as he made his way in the highly competitive world of theoretical physics, seeking to acquire the ‘chops’ needed to deal with the formidable mathematics of his day job along with those needed to solo on the sax after dark… Mr. Alexander’s rhapsodic excitement is infectious.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “In this loosely autobiographical meditation, Alexander explores resonances between music and physics in Pythagoras’ ‘music of the spheres,’ Albert Einstein’s love of music, Coltrane’s love of Einstein, and his own ideas as a theoretical physicist and jazz saxophonist. It’s a vast, cosmic theme that includes quantum mechanics, superstring theory, the Big Bang, the evolution of galaxies, and the process of scientific theorizing itself…Alexander’s enthusiasm for his subject is infectious.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Stephon Alexander is a professor of physics at Brown University and the winner of the 2013 American Physical Society Bouchet Award. He is also a jazz musician and recently finished recording his first electronic jazz album with Erin Rioux. Alexander lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

About the Narrator

Don Hagen has been behind the microphone since fifth grade. He is a nine-time winner of the Peer Award for narration/voice-over and twice winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award. He has also been heard in radio and television commercials and documentaries. In addition to his freelance voice work, he is a member of the audiobook narration team at the Library of Congress.