From Publishers Weekly
Around 1900, many scientists declared that they knew all there was to know. Now, a century later, particle physicist Stannard (Relativity: A Very Short Introduction) throws out a list of scientific problems that he thinks may never be resolved. An infamous problem is string theory: this idea that minuscule vibrating "strings" are the lowest possible denominators of existence passes all the mathematical smell tests, but the odds of its being experimentally proven anytime soon are about as minuscule as strings themselves. Or take consciousness: will we ever understand the interplay between free will and determinism? And is it true that we live in a "block universe" in which our entire lives are already embedded in time--and that we just haven't reached the frames in our future? Stannard is at heart a popularizer of science, and his "end of science" approach is a hook on which to hang a survey of the perplexing theories floating around science today. His presentation is clear enough for even science-savvy high school students--who may be challenged to try to solve Stannard's intractable problems. 23 illus. (Nov.) (c)
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Review from previous edition: "Lucid and provocative, it is a very polite corrective to both superstitions of the layman and the triumphalism of the experts." --New Statesman
"A lucid tour." --Simon Mitton, THES
"Stannard takes readers on a tour of some of the deepest questions facing science." --The Independent