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What is Life? by Roger Penrose, Erwin Schrodinger

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CHAPTER 1

The Classical Physicist’sApproach to the Subject

Cogito ergo sum.

DESCARTES

THE GENERAL CHARACTER AND THE PURPOSE OFTHE INVESTIGATION

This little book arose from a course of public lectures, delivered by a theoretical physicist to an audience of about four hundred which did not substantially dwindle, though warned at the outset that the subject-matter was a difficult one and that the lectures could not be termed popular, even though the physicist’s most dreaded weapon, mathematical deduction, would hardly be utilized. The reason for this was not that the subject was simple enough to be explained without mathematics, but rather that it was much too involved to be fully accessible to mathematics. Another feature which at least induced ...

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