Posts From Author: Excerpts

The Jazz of Physics: Exclusive Excerpt

The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe Stephon Alexander Basic Books, 2016; 272pp Early on in his mind-blowing new book, The Jazz of Physics, Stephon Alexander extols the virtue of analogical reasoning in theoretical physics. Fellow lay-readers of the quantum may well agree when I assert that this indeed might be the only way for many students of the theoretical to approach concepts like string theory. Alexander proves an excellent guide, revealing how the music of jazz musicians, first among them John Coltrane, have developed, in their work, a musical-imaginative extension of the theories proposed by Einstein and Pythagoras. In this exclusive excerpt, Alexander reveals the origins of his twin obsessions — jazz and physics — the guardian angels of his surprising, revelatory new book. Daniel Kaplan had been a trained master composer and a jazz baritone sax player and later was drafted to serve in the Korean War. During the war, he worked on radar technology. Consequently, Kaplan caught the physics bug and upon his return, pursued graduate studies in physics, while still playing his saxophone and composing. He would be the person that would solidify my passion to become a physicist. Kaplan was the chair […]
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