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It's more difficult still given some of the contradictions and inconsistencies that obtain between quantum theory, which "was invented to explain why atoms are stable and do not instantly fall apart" but has little to say about space and time, and general relatively theory, which has everything to say about the big picture but tends to collapse when describing the behavior of atoms and their even smaller constituents. Whence the hero of Smolin's tale, the as-yet-incomplete quantum theory of gravity, which seeks to unify relativity and quantum theory--and, in the bargain, to move toward a "grand theory of everything." Smolin ably explains concepts that underlie quantum gravity, such as background independence, the superposition principle, and the notion of causal structure, and he traces the development of allied theories that have shaped modern physics and led to this new view of the universe.
Although he allows that "it has not been possible to test any of our new theories of quantum gravity experimentally," Smolin predicts that a solid framework will be established by 2015 at the outside. If he's correct, the years in between promise to be an exciting time for students of the physical sciences, and Smolin's book makes an engaging introduction to some of the big questions they'll be asking. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Perhaps a bit optimistic in hindsight, but Mr. Smolin's ability to treat several different theories thoroughly and with respect makes this book an educating and enjoyable read.Published 2 months ago by SveinN
A very good explanation of the existing theories for quantum gravity.
Writen in a way to understand the concepts without entering in mathematical formulations. Read more
Smolin can be a bit tough to wade through at times but he makes his read something that you always want to arrive at the end point so he's hard to put down.Published 7 months ago by rob0bOy
As a layperson (and closet science geek), I really appreciated the author's straightforward and mostly non-mathematical approach to a difficult and incomplete new theory about... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mark Abrams
Lots of thoughts but I was looking for more evidence. Many analogies, stories and anecdotes; apparently, advanced physicists have a lot of car trouble to and from the airport.Published 10 months ago by Will Fehringer
Lee Smolin's books are always well-written and challenging. He tells the story as one who is in the midst of the action. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Steven T. Wolf
It's very nice to find a physics book that's both engrossing, and very well written. I believe that even if you didn't love physics, you would still find this fun to read.Published 14 months ago by Adam Lemire
I highly recommend all the books written by Professor Smolin, and am especially grateful that text to speech is enabled on the Kindle Editions. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Liane J. Leedom, M.D.