Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe

Written by: Martin J. Rees, جنات جمال, مهند التومي

Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe Book Cover
The genesis of the universe elegantly explained in a simple theory based on just six numbers by one of the world's most renowned astrophysicists
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Just Six Numbers The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe Reviews

Jim Robles
The universe is not an "inefficient design," where we could have existed in a smaller universe (at least not with our universe's laws of physics).

I cannot say that there is not a "multi-verse," but I believe there is a designer.

"The physicist Max Planck claimed that theories are never abandoned until their proponents are all dead - that science advances 'funeral by funeral'" (p. 10).

". . . . it is a leap of faith to apply it on scales a hundred million times larger" (p. 84).

Then assuredly the wo The universe is not an "inefficient design," where we could have existed in a smaller universe (at least not with our universe's laws of physics).

I cannot say that there is not a "multi-verse," but I believe there is a designer.

"The physicist Max Planck claimed that theories are never abandoned until their proponents are all dead - that science advances 'funeral by funeral'" (p. 10).

". . . . it is a leap of faith to apply it on scales a hundred million times larger" (p. 84).

Then assuredly the world was made, not in time, but simultaneous with time. For that which is made in time is made both after and before some time - after that which is past, before that which is future. But none could then be past, for there was no creature by whose movements its duration could be measured. But simultaneously with theme the world was made. St. Augustine (p. 130)

The Diest God leaps out from pages 137 - 145.

". . . . inflation is thought to generate 'gravitational waves' - oscillations in the fabric of space itself . . . . Even LISA may not prove sensitive enough . . . ." (p. 142).

See:
SCIENCE -- Third Gravitational Wave Detection, From Black-Hole Merger 3 Billion Light Years Away
By DENNIS OVERBYEJUNE 1, 2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/sc...

"What makes this possible is that, however much inflation has occurred, the universe's net energy can still be zero. Everything has energy mc2, . . . . But everything also has negative energy because of gravity" (p. 145).

TIME AND ITS ARROW (p. 152 - 154).

"To Galileo, circles seemed more beautiful; and they were simpler - they are specified by just one number, the radius.

Galileo also thought that - his primary thesis - that the tides were caused by Earth's rotation.

"To bring meaning to complex phenomena, we introduce new 'emergent' concepts" (p. 177).
Subowal
This is a brief and readable introduction for the lay reader to the science of astrophysics and cosmology. The author holds that the big-bang model of the creation of the universe is now well supported by evidence. There are still a lot of questions to be answered - the principal one of which is why the Universe is fine-tuned to create a solar system and a planet that is capable of supporting life? The author discusses six numbers and shows how any variation in them could have led to a universe This is a brief and readable introduction for the lay reader to the science of astrophysics and cosmology. The author holds that the big-bang model of the creation of the universe is now well supported by evidence. There are still a lot of questions to be answered - the principal one of which is why the Universe is fine-tuned to create a solar system and a planet that is capable of supporting life? The author discusses six numbers and shows how any variation in them could have led to a universe incapable of supporting life as we know it.

So, how did this fine tuning happen? Was it because of a benign creator who wanted life to evolve? As a scientist the author won't want to go for that answer, but he is honest enough to admit there is no clear-cut answer. One possibility is the multiverse theory - our universe is one of infinitely many. These numbers are different in most of the others. Given, however, the enormous number of universes a few purely by chance happened to have the right combination and ours is one of them.

I repeat the caveat I have made in reviewing similar books - I have been a student of physics, and it is difficult for me to know how this book would appeal to one who doesn't have a background in physics and mathematics.
Madie Boufford
I read this book for my Biology book report, and Just Six Numbers by Martin Rees is all about the forces that shape the Universe. It's also about how scientists are trying to learn more about these forces. The forces have to be very exact or else we wouldn't be alive right now. It also talked a lot about how we wouldn't be alive without atoms. But, I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in Cosmology because that's mainly what the book is about.

I thought this book was ok, but I didn't I read this book for my Biology book report, and Just Six Numbers by Martin Rees is all about the forces that shape the Universe. It's also about how scientists are trying to learn more about these forces. The forces have to be very exact or else we wouldn't be alive right now. It also talked a lot about how we wouldn't be alive without atoms. But, I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in Cosmology because that's mainly what the book is about.

I thought this book was ok, but I didn't exactly love it because some parts were hard to understand so it got boring pretty quickly. The beginning was pretty interesting though because I could understand it better than I understood most parts of the book. But, that was just my opinion of it, so you might think differently about the book.
Materialism :: Overlord: Poems :: Hairs/Pelitos :: The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron :: Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy
Karol Ujueta Rojas
We are extremely lucky to exist in this universe, yet it is not by chance that this universe happens to have the right conditions for our existence. Evidence of this is that we are here, talking about it. For example, we happen to live in a universe with 3 space dimensions and 1 time dimension, were this number different gravity perhaps would not exist, nuclear fusion would perhaps not exist, structure of atoms as we know it would perhaps not exist, elements would be out of the question. There a We are extremely lucky to exist in this universe, yet it is not by chance that this universe happens to have the right conditions for our existence. Evidence of this is that we are here, talking about it. For example, we happen to live in a universe with 3 space dimensions and 1 time dimension, were this number different gravity perhaps would not exist, nuclear fusion would perhaps not exist, structure of atoms as we know it would perhaps not exist, elements would be out of the question. There are 5 more numbers like that one that could not have been different than they are now, it is as if these numbers were precisely tuned right before the big bang to allow a universe to be created. Why is that? well, read the book and have fun.
Terry
I appreciated the format, arranging the explanations of the cosmology that was current in 1999 around six crucial numbers. I will keep my brief synopses of each number in my updates, since I will not remember them very long. I will retain the general thrust of Rees' contention about the sensitivity of cosmological evolution to these six values. I will watching for an accessible book that covers the 20 years of cosmological theory after Rees' book.
Josh Volkman
Mind-bender, totally agenda-free, just wonderful and awesome in the old sense of those words. Rees's astrophysicist's numeracy is kept complementary and rarely overwhelming, with a popular audience always in mind. A brilliant scientist tries to share his appreciation for the cosmos.
B
Another great science-for-the-general-reader book. It covered a lot of the same material that other books like this cover, but in a slightly different way by focusing on the numbers that are "fine-tuned" for our existence.
Michael Grant
Gives a wonderful insight into the fine tuning of creation.
Shane Phillips
After reading. I can’t even tell what the ”Six Numbers” are. So many numbers passed out.
Eric Layton
A very well written and interesting little book.
Tarek Wisdom
Oh wow !
[This review is followed down below with Arabic review version, to whom concern]
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First of all, O my God, it has really blown my mind !

* I'm really fascinated by human capability to discover the deep universe and by this deep universe itself how much precised and well-made it is !

unbelievably great .... it'd indicate no doubt to something supreme out there ... something that made it possible to be - the universe - what it is Oh wow !
[This review is followed down below with Arabic review version, to whom concern]
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First of all, O my God, it has really blown my mind !

* I'm really fascinated by human capability to discover the deep universe and by this deep universe itself how much precised and well-made it is !

unbelievably great .... it'd indicate no doubt to something supreme out there ... something that made it possible to be - the universe - what it is now ! I'd say a Creator [some would say if really a creator out there, what is he really doing during these 14 billion years !!?? ... simply I'd say that definitely his time elapsing is not at all as what we are familiar with !! (relativity)]

* the book speaks on six fine-tuned numbers that had given the universe its current shape and its creatures ... if just ONE number of them had a variation with ONE DECIMAL point or less it wouldn't be what it is now !! we wouldn't exist or this whole universe exist !!

* this book and cosmology in general, makes me realize how much precision was required to give this current universe with all its diversity, creatures and its amazing look ! (design)

* I like very much Einstein quote when he said : "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is COMPREHENSIBLE !!"

* the incomprehensible question stays out there unanswered:
WHY our universe is traceable after all !? what imprinted the physical laws themselves !??

- I highly recommend this book :)
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---------------- المراجعة العربية ------------------------------------
رائع جدا !!
الكتاب فظيع بكل معنى الكلمة .... لكنه للأسف بنفس الوقت مليئ بالتفاصيل والفيزياء الذي يجعل من الصعب التركيز فيه لمدة طويلة ... أو بالأحرى يحتاج إلى تركيز عالي أثناء القراءة، وهذا ما افتقدته أثناء قراءتي له حيث أني قرأته فقط أثناء ركوبي المواصلات @_@

لكن بشكل عام، الكتاب يستحق التأمل لمن يريد أن يفهم قليلا أين نحن وأين العلم وأين الكون من هذا كله !! (رغم أن الكتاب عمره 17 سنة ...أي يعتبر قديم جدا بالنسبة لهذا العلم، علم الفضاء والفيزياء) لكن الجميل فيه أن المعلومات والمعطيات الموجودة فيه هي حقائق ثابتة تقريبا قلّ أن تتغير اختارها الكاتب بعناية .

* أكثر ما أبهرني هو قدرة الجنس البشري على المعرفة، كما أبهرني دقة صناعة هذا الكون المذهلة !

* الكتاب يستعرض ستة أرقام، مولّفة توليفا دقيقا ليكون هذا الكون ماهو عليه الآن وبما فيه من حيوات واتساع ومجهول لم ندركه بعد !
العجيب في الأمر أن هذه الأرقام الستة، لو تغير واحد منها بمقدار فاصلة عشرية أو أقل لما كان هذا الكون ولما كنا نحن !!
أرقام وحقائق تجعل من وجود مصمم لهذه الكون -بنظري- حتمية لازمة لا مفر منها رغم الجدال القائم على ذلك، فمثلا قد يقول أحدهم
[وماذا يفعل الإله كل هذه الفترة 14 بليون سنة إن كان حقا هو من أوجدنا !! ؟؟ .... أقول وببساطة إدراكنا للوقت الذي تعدّه هو حتما ليس كإدراكه هو لهذا الوقت !! إنها النسبية !!]

* يعجبني قول إينشتاين في الكون حيث يقول: "إن أغرب شيئ في هذا الكون والغير قابل للفهم هو أنه قابل للفهم !!"

* السؤال الأبدي الذي بيقى مطروحا من غير إجابة:
لماذا الكون بالأصل قابل للتتبع والمعرفة ؟؟ من الذي وضع قوانين الفيزياء فيه بهذا الشكل !؟؟

- أنصح بالكتاب وبشدة :)
Yasser Mohammad
I read this book too late. may be it woild have been surprising and informative a decade ago. The main point is that either the universe is designed to have life evolve or there are many universes snd we are in one of the minority of them. This argument from tuning though misses an important point. Yes you may be able to say that any variation in these 6 numbers would have made life impossible but it would have made many other features of the universe unlikely (e.g. any feature that life depends I read this book too late. may be it woild have been surprising and informative a decade ago. The main point is that either the universe is designed to have life evolve or there are many universes snd we are in one of the minority of them. This argument from tuning though misses an important point. Yes you may be able to say that any variation in these 6 numbers would have made life impossible but it would have made many other features of the universe unlikely (e.g. any feature that life depends on). for example may be these parameters were tuned to have maximal vatiety of elements or to.make type 1 a supernovae possible or to build a universe that emulates a perfect gas or any other feature with life emerging as a byproduct of this process. I am not arguing for any of these of course but I just want to say that it is a big leap from "there is tuning" to there is "tuning for life " that the book just ignores may be as a side effect of trying to be readable by anyone. I also did not like jumping between subjects which made the book more of a long story rather than a long argument.
Elli Zavou
Rees's book is fascinating! What he basically tries to explain is that, if you were to change even one of these six important numbers, the Universe would be completely different and it might have not been suitable for life. Even if you don't completely understand the physics and mathematical explanations he gives, you see the following argument unfold: either someone created the Universe precisely the way it is to make it suitable for living beings, or there are many Universes and we just happen Rees's book is fascinating! What he basically tries to explain is that, if you were to change even one of these six important numbers, the Universe would be completely different and it might have not been suitable for life. Even if you don't completely understand the physics and mathematical explanations he gives, you see the following argument unfold: either someone created the Universe precisely the way it is to make it suitable for living beings, or there are many Universes and we just happen to be in one of the rare ones that actually support life!!
My 3 star rating may be a bit unfair because I really think it is a book worth reading. However, I should have probably read it in Greek instead of English because it was a bit more difficult for me to follow all the arguments and explanations, so it was a little tiring. I would like to re-read it with a fresh and relaxed mind in order to get deeper in the details. Apart from that, it's a great book from an interesting scientist.
David
A somewhat dated view of the fine tuning that lies behind the cosmos as we understand it. Rees makes the point that the six numbers discussed have little a iLife for variation if the universe as we know it were to exist. He goes through each in turn defining them and discussing the implications of larger or smaller variants of each. It was enjoyable but harder than I feel it should have been. A simple summary of what the six numbers were thought to be at the time of writing would have been usefu A somewhat dated view of the fine tuning that lies behind the cosmos as we understand it. Rees makes the point that the six numbers discussed have little a iLife for variation if the universe as we know it were to exist. He goes through each in turn defining them and discussing the implications of larger or smaller variants of each. It was enjoyable but harder than I feel it should have been. A simple summary of what the six numbers were thought to be at the time of writing would have been useful. Instead, they are literally buried in the chapters and some only vaguely reference an actual estimate.
Xander
This is a well-written book that explains the most important fundamental constants in modern cosmology. As a general introduction it is a recommendable book; for someone with some prior knowledge it is a little bit too general. The author could have explained some topics more in-depth.

It was published in 1999; almost 20 years later there have been major discoveries and therefore it's a little bit outdated. For the most recent introductory course in cosmology I'd recommend A Universe from Nothing This is a well-written book that explains the most important fundamental constants in modern cosmology. As a general introduction it is a recommendable book; for someone with some prior knowledge it is a little bit too general. The author could have explained some topics more in-depth.

It was published in 1999; almost 20 years later there have been major discoveries and therefore it's a little bit outdated. For the most recent introductory course in cosmology I'd recommend A Universe from Nothing, written by Lawrence Krauss and published in 2011. All the issues from Just Six Numbers have been integrated in a fascinating up-to-date account of the history of the universe.
Vanessa
This book attempts to answer questions like:
What would happen to the universe if gravity were just a little stronger?
What if the electric forces between atoms were slightly weaker?

If you're curious at all, it's worth a read. I hadn't heard about most of the numbers/constants mentioned in the book, but the impact they have on the formation of atoms, planets, and the universe was more interesting to read about than I'd anticipated.

Recommended as a good introductory overview of physics and astr This book attempts to answer questions like:
What would happen to the universe if gravity were just a little stronger?
What if the electric forces between atoms were slightly weaker?

If you're curious at all, it's worth a read. I hadn't heard about most of the numbers/constants mentioned in the book, but the impact they have on the formation of atoms, planets, and the universe was more interesting to read about than I'd anticipated.

Recommended as a good introductory overview of physics and astronomy (it's a pretty fast read).
Bea Alden
Every once in a while, I feel like reading something more challenging than my preferred diet of fiction. The subtitle of this book is "The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe," and the author is a Royal Society Research Fellow at Cambridge University. So, it took concentration, with much highlighting and re-reading of portions of it, to get a vague grasp of the sense of it. But still, I really do think I came away with at least a small idea of the relationship between the macro universe and the Every once in a while, I feel like reading something more challenging than my preferred diet of fiction. The subtitle of this book is "The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe," and the author is a Royal Society Research Fellow at Cambridge University. So, it took concentration, with much highlighting and re-reading of portions of it, to get a vague grasp of the sense of it. But still, I really do think I came away with at least a small idea of the relationship between the macro universe and the micro universe of atoms, and the various forces that underlie it all. Fascinating stuff.
J. Roberto
Es un libro interesante y con un enfoque original: como algunas relaciones fundamentales, la razón entre la fuerza eléctrica y la gravitacional, o la fracción de masa que se convierte en energía en un proceso de fusión, hacen posible la existencia de un universo bastante estable y que permite el surgimiento de vida. Su mayor defecto es tratar de abarcar muchos temas en un libro relativamente breve, esto lo hace un poco superficial para el especialista y creo que no muy comprensible para el lecto Es un libro interesante y con un enfoque original: como algunas relaciones fundamentales, la razón entre la fuerza eléctrica y la gravitacional, o la fracción de masa que se convierte en energía en un proceso de fusión, hacen posible la existencia de un universo bastante estable y que permite el surgimiento de vida. Su mayor defecto es tratar de abarcar muchos temas en un libro relativamente breve, esto lo hace un poco superficial para el especialista y creo que no muy comprensible para el lector profano.
Jacob
A brief, fascinating look into the arbitrary properties of our universe that enable complex life. Six Numbers has some clumsiness to its writing: at some times addressing a lay audience, it elsewhere waxes technical. Sometimes bogging down in banalities, in other places it rushes past fascinating revelations. Overall, this is a strong entrée to follow A Short History of Nearly Everything 's early universe appetizer.
John Devlin
A striking and readable look at the anthropic principle and the ways gravity, star formation, the Big Bang, and 3 dimensionality are not only necessary for sentient life to occur but are essential in the precise quantities that are universe holds. Our universe it turns out is like the most finicky Goldilocks who's porridge can only be mixed if it contains exactly .007 hydrogen to helium ratio.

Rees does a commendable job of making the esoteric understandable, though I confess to losing him at th A striking and readable look at the anthropic principle and the ways gravity, star formation, the Big Bang, and 3 dimensionality are not only necessary for sentient life to occur but are essential in the precise quantities that are universe holds. Our universe it turns out is like the most finicky Goldilocks who's porridge can only be mixed if it contains exactly .007 hydrogen to helium ratio.

Rees does a commendable job of making the esoteric understandable, though I confess to losing him at the end with superstring theory and 11 dimensions with 4D math.
Son Tung
Attempted to read this one year ago, it was quite mind-boggling for me at the time.

After this 2nd try, i grasp a few more concepts and develop some more realizations. Thoughts spontaneously shoot out:

- I should go extra miles to comprehend and contemplate 6 numbers well-explained by Sir Martin Rees.
- Now i would look for books to dig deeper into "fine-tuning" arguments for the existence of our universe.
- After, maybe, 1 more year, will re-read this a-gain.
Nithyanand
It's a small book, a marvel of concise writing. It's worth reading just for the way he constructs his sentences and how he organizes and presents his ideas. The subject matter has been written about elsewhere, but nowhere with such authority.

If I remember correctly, he doesn't spend too much time with speculative arguments for or against the Anthropic Principle. Presents the state of our knowledge and leaves it at that. Rightly so.
Joel Murray
A good book describing 6 of the factors that had to be in the right range for our universe to exist. Very well written and easy to follow, although some background cosmology knowledge I'm sure would be very useful.

The summary at the end was very good and quite level-handed, outlining the possible reasons how the 6 numbers could have ended up as they have before then adding the author's personal point of view.
Lynn
The idea was good, we live in an unbelievably fine tuned universe, but the writing was scattered and poorly organized. Some people can write in a clear and concise way, and some can't. Reese can't. Guidance from a good editor could have made this book outstanding. I probably should have given in 1 or 2 stars because of the disorganized writing, but there are some great ideas scattered throughout the book.
Daniel Wright
Not quite as good as it promises to be. Rees puts far more confidence in the current state of physics than I am willing to. Some of the numbers are actually more than one number. The explanation of the concepts is not as clear as it might be. All the same, this is as good and readable an explanation of the fundamental constants of the universe as one can find at the moment, and Rees is fairly open about the intriguing philosophical implications thereof.
Troy
This was a really cool look at the physics needed to produce a universe like ours. The concepts were presented and explained clearly and concisely. This is one of those books that really makes your imagination go wild thinking of the implications of what our universe would be like if certain values were even slightly different.
Russell Day
Interesting book, but dated. This was written around 2000, and since then we've learned quite a bit more about dark matter and dark energy, which are addressed in the book but not very well. The other points, about gravity, electromagnetism, atomic forces, and big bang ripples are interesting in the vein he presents.
Todd Martin
In Just Six Numbers Martin Rees looks at physical constants of the universe, their apparent fine tuning and how they govern the physical laws of space and time.

The book is a little dated (Reese doesn't seem familiar with the concept of dark energy for example), but the book is interesting and well written just the same.
Paul Adkin
Can we regard this new cosmological thinking as metaphysics? - which I mean in the agnostical sense of the term, before churches took a copyright out on the concept. Without
mentioning it, Rees did hint at an Anthropic Principle to the Universe. But, perhaps, if he did mention it that would have driven his argument into a whole new field where he probably didn't want to go.
Ashish Jaituni
Utterly fascinating and immensely readable! A wonderful little book on Cosmology. The book is just not about the six numbers that broadly make up for the universe which we live in but also explains the history and the future of the Universe according to the present theories. Sir Martin Rees has written a beautiful book. A classic!
Larry
Even though Rees' book was published in 2001, it remains an important and fascinating study today. Clearly written and entertaining, Rees sheds light on the fine tuning of the universe that allows human life to exist.
Skeptycal
For anyone who enjoys math or science, particularly the history of science, this is a very enjoyable read. The style is accessible to the lay person, yet intricate enough to keep an educated scientist absorbed.
Height76
Just Six Numbers does an excellent job of explaining in layman's terms some quite amazing facts and figures related to our universe. The science is eloquently put, I just felt the final chapter became a bit muddled with its attempt to explain why the facts and figures seem so precise.
Travis
a whole book about the nature of the universe, the truly astronomical chances that "we" would ever even exist, and the six numbers that govern it all, without ANY math at all! more informative then hawking's "a brief history of time".
Steve Schlutow
This was a good book. It was a book written for the masses (if they chose to read) could understand. I never heard of this book until I came across it a couple of weeks ago. I found it fascinating.
Eric
This book was slow going for me, even though it was fairly simply presented. I just need something even simpler. I liked the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, some funny, some poignant. Woody Allen - Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end. So true!
dead letter office
discusses the six numbers that determine the nature of the physical universe, and the implications of one of these numbers being infinitesimally "off". if you've ever considered tinkering with the universal gravitational constant, i hope you will read this first.
Tony Helies
Rees makes the case that just six numbers matter for creating a universe with galaxies, stars, rocky planets and the folks that live on them. A brilliant book.
Joel Simon
A fascinating and intellectually stimulating book about the importance of six particular numbers in the universe.
Chris March
A brief overview of twentieth century cosmology.
David Everling
Conceptually similar to The Universe in a Nutshell, focusing on cosmological constants that define how our universe works (and allows life).
Paula
I loved this book because I did feel a pleasant feeling and it seemed great
Pamela
This highly interesting book was more than I could fully comprehends; but because Martin Rees writes well with consideration for his readers, I increased my knowledge range.
Chris
One of the most well written pop-science books I've read in a while.
It's rare that I find a book like this as easy to read as a novel, and as digestible.
Alexandru Ciobanu
Excellent book. The author explains very complex physics and scientific concepts in a way that easy to understand for non-specialist, like myself.
Abdo
If this was 10 years ago when I started reading about cosmology and astrophysics I'd have certainly given it a full 5 stars. Nonetheless it was a nice memory refresher.
Kip
Just a very enjoyable and enlightening read, one I keep going back for. Puts existence into perspective.
Gerard Walsh
Gave me a great insight into physics and cosmology (yes, I know that to physicists, cosmology is ultimately all reducible to physics).
Ross
Not nearly as exciting as I hoped. Still interesting though.
Tommy Faris


Fascinating exploration of the nature of our "finely-tuned universe"
Curtis
This book is excellent. Here is a link to a review that I think nails down the quality of this book.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/20...
Lynn Hay
It's amazing how close everything is to being impossible. Read it and you'll understand what I mean.
J
Good book that talks about the six numbers that have to be the way they are for our universe to exist.
Martin Willoughby
A clear, concise introduction to astrophysics and cosmology for anyone who can think.
Steph
This book was a little disappointing. I realize that it was written over 12 years ago, but the way it was written just rubbed me the wrong way. It was very informative, though
Emily
easy introduction to cosmology, the relationship between large and small in physics, possible universes, and philosophical implications.
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