Top positive review
25 people found this helpful
A nice job, but wasted on me
on February 20, 2014
It has been on my bucket list for quite some time to update my knowledge of physics. I am an electrical engineer, concentrating in semiconductors, so I have at least a "working knowledge" of particle physics and quantum dynamics. I wanted to understand a little more about multidimensional thinking and string theory, which are essential to the most modern physics.
Lisa Randall does a great job of explaining these concepts to the layman. She takes the reader through some marvelous explanations of spaces with more than three dimensions, and gives a great overview of the thinking that lead to string theory. While I do not have the most "conceptual" of minds, I did at least develop an understanding of what she was trying to explain.
While I have a decent background in higher level math, I am not sure if that was an advantage in reading this book or not. I think if I knew a little less math, I would have been more comfortable with her simplifications and handwaving. As it was, I kept getting bogged down in "fighting" with her explanations, trying to square them against the math I do understand. I have the feeling that if my math had stopped at HS calculus/geometry, I would have been much more open to the material.
But the biggest problem I had with the book was probably me. I discovered that in spite of my bucket-list, I was really not all that interested in the topic. I think I am just too old to upset my limited understanding of higher-level physics and starting all over. 6-dimensional spaces just give me a headache, and string theory isn't going to help my golf game as much as I had hoped.
So I would say that this book is as good an effort as you will find for walking you through these concepts, but just be careful what you ask for.