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Showing 1-10 of 360 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 411 reviews
on January 19, 2017
I can only hope that Thomas' hypothesis becomes a theory. It is indeed an elegant and uncomplicated solution. It is so obvious that it has eluded the most brilliant minds the world has produced.
The reason why I hope it's declared a theory is of course irrational selfishness in the sense that finally, the inherent uncertainty in our best theories in physics are put to good use to my mind. Like Einstein, I do not believe that the inherent property of reality is one of utter uncertainty; but certainly of probability. The probability that what we all experience during our daily lives is a smokescreen underwritten by arbitrary laws that's infirm and transgressable... remote, I wager. As are the probability of multi-verses splitting ad infinitum in split seconds.
I am not nearly advanced enough in physics for my opinion to count anything. But for the first time the theories of special relativity, general relativity and quantum mechanics make sense to me. And believe me, I've read a lot about them.
Even if Thomas' hypotheses are not accepted, his vision has helped me enormously to understand the inherent uncertainty in what we believe to be firm reality. It is firm. There us nothing to question and there is no supernatural malarkey to upset our declared theories.
Thank you so much for clearing up that sir! Now all your books are on my wish list.
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on September 4, 2012
I came across this book on the author's website, where he covers a lot of interesting topics (some of which are included in the book). I assumed this book was a popularisation of standard physics theory (and the author does cover a lot of standard sub-atomic theory in a very concise and clear way), but this book goes beyond that to cover the author's own ideas and theories. This is quite thought provoking, although I would caution that not all of it is universally supported in the academic cummunity. In particular, his thoughts about the links between gravity and quantum theory are interesting, but not proven.
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on May 16, 2014
By chance I stumbled across this book while perusing the kindle lending library. A few weeks later I returned the book and bought a copy. This book is a deceptively easy read with deceptively simple ideas. I could rate this book based on a list of pros and cons or likes and dislikes but decided against that. After a second reading (with a few weeks in-between reads), I give this book five stars even though there is a certain amount of repetitiveness which irritates me. My rating is based solely on the amount of time the ideas introduced within this book have occupied my thinking since I started reading it; not on whether I agree or disagree with any of them. Those ideas and their implications are taking a long time to digest. Rarely have I read such a simple book that has affected my thinking for so long afterwards.
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on November 4, 2014
This, and the subsequent two books in the series, are without doubt the best written, most original, and delightful books in the area of physics for the lay reader that have been published in decades. The remarkable thing about them is that while one may be occasionally challenged by the concepts initially, the author always provides clear, simple, and completely understandable explanations so that even the most complex theories are intellectually accessible. Such was the genius of Richard Feynman, and so also is the genius of Andrew Thomas. Virtually all of the major theories, problems and controversies current today in the area of quantum mechanics and relativity are addressed and most remarkably of all a much sought after link, a plausible unification of sorts, between them is given. Starting with the obvious truth that there is "...nothing outside the universe", the author is able to construct a systematic explanation of the major concepts behind modern physics in such a way that reader is both informed and delighted.
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on August 10, 2017
Dr, Thomas is an amazing writer. I have all 7 of his books and read them all with pleasure. Not a dull moment in any of the books. He has amazing insight and ideas of his own. I have background in physics so this was easy reading for me, but it is clearly written for general audiences. I have read just about all popular physics/cosmology books of recent era this series is certainly best and Dr. Thomas is very best. I hope he continues the series.
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on October 21, 2014
Simple enough I need to read it again, taking the time to explore each link presented as bookmarks throughout the text. Thomas writes engagingly, never blathering on from a perch above us but wisely presenting his arguments in a coherent and reasoned order - that order being fundamental to arrive with him to the conclusion of his reckoning on unification.
I think many in academe would do well to read this and, at the very least, consider the consequences of Thomas' hypothesis especially in light of two important principles: the first as repeated often by the author, that a theory that arrives at the simplest and most workable conclusion is by its nature elegant and secondly, an immense amount of money, time and brainpower has produced almost no workable results and led to hypotheses that require fanciful math and/or n number of unmeasurable entities (e.g. additional dimensions - 11? 19? Again, these serve only to make the math work. An accountant that tried that would be trading a green visor for prison orange.)
I recommend this highly for anyone with a scientific curiosity. It both satisfies and leaves an appetite for more.
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on May 30, 2017
A very good book on a tremendously interesting subject. At times even the author's simple explanations seem to still be over my head, however when I re-read the difficult areas it begins to be clear to me. I can't help but marvel at the amazing connections demonstrated. If you are just beginning to wrap your mind around quantum mechanics and its relationship to the physical world, give this book a try.
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on December 25, 2016
Very well written, uses mostly simple language to explain complicated concepts. I got half a dozen ah-ha moments out of this book. Recommended for those with some college science courses. Does not need much to get this biio. As far as I remember only one formula in the whole book.
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on January 5, 2015
I am an amateur cosmologist with no formal scientific training who has read dozens of books on it and related topics. i’d consider myself a very well-informed layman on the subjects covered in this remarkable little book. My own research interest lies in the area of the *next* unification, that of relativity and quantum mechanics with the world outside physics which is often lumped under the term “consciousness.” For that reason, I found Thomas’ first volume (I have not yet read the other two in his series) utterly fascinating.

As I evaluate this book for the layperson like myself who is interested in grasping the fundamental ideas behind the two apparently conflicting theories, I find it to be an excellent introduction. Certainly it “suffers” from the fact that its author has a very specific viewpoint of which he wishes to convince us. He does, as many reviewers here have noted (I have read *all* the reviews and many of the comments as well), which can make it a tad annoying to read. But in his defense, he is presenting a theory that, although it is simplicity itself, will inevitably be rejected by professional physicists and cosmologists whose particular oxen he gores with such panache.

There are certainly a number of places where Thomas poses straw men which he then gleefully knocks to the ground and a few where it seems to me the assumptions underlying his logical arguments are subject to question. As one example, at page 163, he makes this claim: “Even the very existence of the particle itself is dependent on the universe around it — if the universe says the particle does not exist then, by definition, it ceases to exist .” Apart from the anthropomorphism to which many other readers have voiced their objection, he doesn’t even discuss the question of how, exactly, the universe could *say* this…or anything else, for that matter.

On a related note, Thomas uses the word Nature (which he capitalizes) as a synonym for something but he never defines that something. It seems to me from context that he is making a spiritual statement here (though he may disagree). In any case, he endows Nature with tremendous power (and even some wisdom) in quite a number of places. (There are more than 100 occurrences of the word “Nature” in the book!) This doesn’t bother me particularly because my own searching has suggested that Scientism (which I see as a religion which tries to exclude from the world of reality anything that cannot be explained by its rigorous but massively incomplete understanding of the world [see “Quantum Physics and Ultimate Reality: Mystical Writings of Great Physicists by Michael Green]) will never explain anything resembling the entire universe.

Finally, I find myself agreeing with a number of other reviewers that he seems almost personally offended by the notions of the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) adopted by probably a majority of quantum physicists. I see this as an unnecessary and somewhat off-putting distraction to his main work. In the end, even his fundamental principle, that there is nothing outside the universe, is not threatened if the MWI turns out to be accurate. In that case, *our* universe is simply the one that “contains” the others in the multiverse (leaving aside the deeper question of what containership could mean in this instance).

Overall, however, despite its flaws and its salesmanship, I found Thomas’ work refreshingly insightful and original. He begins in the right place, by rejecting reductionism and seeking to begin from First Principles. And he does a convincing job — at least in a non-mathematical sense — of convincing me (and many others here) of the probable correctness of his thesis.

I’m definitely going to read his next two volumes in the series. Even if I end up disagreeing with him, I am certain I will be enlightened by his outside-the-box thinking and his clear and logical writing.
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on July 10, 2014
"Hidden in Plain Sight" stresses a very important point: Everything is relative. This book provides a service to remind us of this fundamental point, which even many physicists and cosmologists choose to forget. There is no answer, even in principle, to the question, "How big is the universe?" Absolute space and time don't exist, and the universe isn't some object hanging in space like an apple hanging on a tree. So how could we possibly measure its "size"?

I have one objection to this book. In the "block universe model" that is presented as a working model of the universe, all moments in time are equally "special." However, Dr. Thomas offers no definition of "special" in this context. Moments in the left-hand portion of the block correspond to a universe in a low-entropy state as compared to the moments in the right-hand portion. I would maintain that this represents a qualitative difference, or "specialness," that needs to be recognized. In fact, the Dr. Thomas's entire treatment of entropy is rather fuzzy and needs to be firmed up.

There is another significant problem with the block universe model: It is logically inconsistent with free will. In order for free will to exist, it must be impossible, even in principle, for any theoretical being to possess the kind of God's-eye view of the universe as depicted by that model. If time is just a dimension projected across eternity, every choice or decision we make will be predetermined (this is the logical basis for the Calvinist doctrine of predestination). As a result, life is reduced to a mere mechanical existence without any purpose or meaning.

https://sites.google.com/site/amateurscientistessays/

But despite venturing into some rather shaky ground, I still recommend this book. "Hidden in Plain Sight" is thought-provoking, breaking away from orthodox scientific literature by correcting the common fallacy of invoking absolute space and time. It's an interesting read and well worth the $0.99 for the Kindle version.
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