Despite the crazy title, this is an excellent popular account of string theory. As the astronomer Martin Rees writes in the foreword, For aliens, string theory may be a doddle. But for most of us humans, they are a Himalayan challenge. So, this book is to be welcomed, not only for explaining the physics in an easily assimilated way, but also for articulating why superstrings and the rest of fundamental physics matter at all. This is something that physicists themselves rarely do. Best of all, Musser, a staff editor and writer at Scientific American, tackles the controversial aspects of string theory, which have been the subject of much journalistic nonsense lately, and gets it all just about right.
, December 2008
is actually a thoroughly worthwhile read, doing as good a job as you could hope for in reducing the Gordian complexity of string theory into something that intelligent readers feel that they understand.
, November 2008
About the Author
is a staff editor and writer for Scientific American
magazine. He was recently awarded the 2010 Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award by the American Astronomical Society. He was the originator and one of the lead editors for the magazine's special issue "A Matter of Time" (Sept. 2002), which won a National Magazine Award for editorial excellence, and he coordinated the single-topic issue "Crossroads for Planet Earth" (Sept. 2005), which won a Global Media Award from the Population Institute and was a National Magazine Award finalist.