- Series: Series on Knots and Everything (Book 41)
- Hardcover: 740 pages
- Publisher: World Scientific Pub Co Inc; 1st edition (December 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9812709142
- ISBN-13: 978-9812709141
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.8 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,874,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Zero to Infinity: The Foundations of Physics (Series on Knots and Everything) 1st Edition
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The fundamental building block of reality is described as a 'nilpotent' or algebraic structure with properties stemming from the division algebras. Using this structure, and the steadfast adherence to the concept of 'zero totality', Rowlands demonstrates how natural physical phenomena simply 'emerge' from this framework.
The section on the Dirac equation is particularly enlightening. Using a nilpotent structure as the basic unit of information, Rowlands shows how the redundancies and singularities of the classical implementation can be avoided. Quantum field theory, one of the most difficult theories of modern physics, is a natural consequence of the nilpotent formulation in terms of the 'vacuum'. It completely removes any need for second quantization. Supersymmetry is also an inherent property.
He provides a thorough treatment of the standard model, and how all the symmetries and predictive power of the standard model is preserved in the nilpotent formulation as well as an interesting insight into the nature of gravity. Conjectures as to grand unified theories and symmetries are also discussed.
Peter Rowlands, 2007, World Scientific
Series on knots and everything; v.41
Hardcover, 713 pgs. ISBN 978-981-270-914-1
For some reason when I first hefted this interesting volume, quite soon I was reminded of Sir Roger Penrose's book `The Road to Reality'. One could almost as easily say there is little comparison as easily say that they are similar. They certainly attempt to explain the same thing - The fundamental basis of reality from the point of view of Physics. For this reason I think they make good companions and together whereby the contrast would give a 3-fold insight into the nature of physical reality.
Penrose relies somewhat on the twistor theory of his own invention and throws out a slightly wider net in an attempt to elucidate a broader spectrum of physical theory. Rowlands' work while still covering the full breath of physics which zero to infinity readily suggests, his scope is slightly narrower as he makes his delineation describing the foundations of physics from what he proposes as a `universal computational rewrite system', which one must admit is quite profound as it leads to a very simple form of relativistic quantum mechanics in terms of a single Dirac operator. What Rowlands' approach aims for is to find a simple unified theory of physics, or theory of everything (TOE) by finding a simple "process, a systematic way of proceeding with strong indications that we were on the right track". This book is truly on the right path...
The back cover of Zero to Infinity says, "This is not only simpler, and more fundamental, but also seemingly more powerful than any other quantum mechanics formalism available". I think one has no choice other than to agree that this statement is true. Rowlands performs much of this work in terms of quaternions, which every physicist knows provides a much simpler form of spinor algebra than all other formalisms used; but which has for the most part been ignored by the physics community. One can not help but wonder if this brilliant work will not now begin to turn the tide.
I highly recommend this volume to anyone wishing to devolve into any area of the foundations of Physics. While it is highly mathematical, the math is not overdone and there is more than sufficient prose and figures to make the book readable not just to graduate students and professional physicists but to any educated soul curious for about contemporary physics and its future. Rowlands has proven himself to be an excellent physicist and the clarity of his book reflects that.
Richard L. Amoroso, 2009
Noetic Advanced Studies Institute