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Other Worlds: Space, Superspace, and the Quantum Universe (Penguin science)

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140138771
ISBN-10: 0140138773
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin science
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (May 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140138773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140138771
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,437,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I learned quantum theory in college 15 years ago. Reading this book, I gained insights I never had back then. If you want a clear non-technical introduction to the subject, this book is for you. It stretches the mind with possibilities such as alternate universes.
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This is one of my physicist Paul Davies' earlier books and is generally underrated, but it helped me finally understand both special relativity AND the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and I feel it deserves recognition for that. Maybe it doesn't cover all the latest and greatest in quantum physics, but it gives you a solid foundation for diving into books that do.
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Format: Paperback
"Facing up to ... a superspace in which myriads of worlds are stitched together in a curious overlapping, wavelike fashion, the concrete world of daily life seems light years away. ... one is bound to wonder to what extent superspace is real." Paul Davies

Davies Temporal Gymnastics:

Paul Davies suggests that in a closed-time world, the past would also be the future. He thus opens up a prospect of temporal paradoxes, more frequently visited by science fiction writers, since H.G. Wells. But, if time joins up with itself similarly to a snake swallowing its tail, he proposes it would not be possible to distinguish forwards or backwards in time, just as he has explained, that there is no distinction between left and right hands in a Möbius-type space. Prof. Davies concludes, "Whether or not we would notice such bizarre properties of time is not clear. Perhaps our brains, in an attempt to order our experiences in a meaningful way, would be unaware of these temporal gymnastics."

Holes with Teeth?

As a Mathematical physicist, he expresses his Möbius-style thoughts, "Although edges and holes in space and time might seem like a mad mathematician's nightmare, they are taken very seriously by physicists, who consider that such structures may very well exist. Although there is no evidence for the mangling of space-time, there seems a strong suggestion that space or time might develop 'edges' which have borders, or Cauchy-Reinmann type contours, "so that rather than tumbling unsuspectingly off the edge of creation, we should be painfully and, it turns out, suicidally aware of our impending departure.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoy reading Paul Davies' books. Davies is a nice departure from many science writers who cannot come to a non-physicist level when explaining a concept. In down-to-earth terms, he explains anti-matter and how Einstein's theories explain much about time and space.
The reason I don't give this book 5 stars is that it is one of Davies' earlier writings (originally published in 1980). I think he's improved over the years, and one of the best reads I've had from Davies is his "The Last Three Minutes." "Other Worlds" is a great read, but it never seems to achieve it's objective. At the onset, you're expecting to learn how alternate existences and parallel universes may exist or at least be explained mathematically, and if they do exist, what is their physical representation. To me, however, the whole point of the book is lost in deep explanations regarding electron paths and variances along those paths, etc. How these variances apply to "Other Worlds" is never clearly explained. At least to me.
Still, it's a Davies book, and they're very interesting to read. He puts scientific principles in layman's terms without insulting one's intelligence. Overall, I recommend this book, even though I'd recommend reading some of his later works first.
Enjoy!
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This is a great collection of his essays. There are essays about writing stories ( The Lord of the Rings, fairy tales, etc), a little about the writing of the Narnia stories, and four science fiction stories are reprinted. There is also the transcript of a conversation he had with 2 other authors about writing. It's a great read!
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