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- The Road to Reality by Roger Penrose | trisenmulniecont.cf: Books
- The Road to Reality
- The Road to Reality

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THE ROAD TO. REALITY. A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe. JONATHAN CAPE Similar-areas proof of the Pythagorean theorem. The Road to Reality. A complete guide to the laws of the bniverse. trisenmulniecont.cfe. April ' - April 23, g. There is the physical world, out of which a tiny part make. NOTICES OF THE AMS. Book Review. The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe. Reviewed by Brian Blank. The Road to Reality .

Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. The road to reality: Palle Jorgensen. Rogerio Fontelles. Lee Smolin.

Palle Jorgensen. Rogerio Fontelles. Lee Smolin. You are matical physicist and a renowned In a poetic epilogue, an imaginary Ital- I expositor of science, has taken on ian female scientist is brought to the w e l c o m e to submit a n unsolicited an enormous task in writing The Road scene to settle it all, some day, in per- review of a book of y o u r choice," or, to Reality, a vast survey of contempo- haps a not-so-distant future.

The "the" in In other magazine reviews, and in the title is perhaps misleading, though, the blogosphere, the book has gener- a book to review, please write us, as a single path does not emerge from ated divided opinion. While everyone telling us y o u r expertise and y o u r this book.

Rather, the author leads the praises the insightful presentation of predilections, reader along many avenues in territory some fundamental issues and concepts that is yet to be mapped.

Starting from of mathematical physics, many readers the birth of Greek science and funda- feel unhappy with a certain editorial mental definitions of numbers, symme- sloppiness which has marred their tries, and manifolds, he proceeds to ex- reading experience.

The final chapter is tantalizingly en- --Osmo Pekonen, Reviews Editor through more than pages. I found The Road to Reality: Penrose's writing is calm a n d A Complete Guide composed.

It is also honest about what mathematics and physics can accom- to the Laws of the plish. I count Roger Penrose among the most outstanding scientists and exposi- Universe tors of his generation.

Pen- seller ranking, so Penrose must surely be doing something right. Achieving popular appeal with a serious s c i e n c e rose succeeds admirably in striking this book is impressive.

What author of balance: Indeed, there are preciously few is not modest: It raises the ex- Column Editor: Osmo Pekonen, ics, especially when the aim is the pectation level, yet the presentation is Agora Centre, panoramic picture of science. The nar- modest when modesty is called for. I believe that this book does a great visited in the second part of the book. Despite the grand and ambitious job in apparently effortlessly moving Of the author's earlier research pa- goal, I didn't feel cheated.

But I was the presentation from high school math pers likely to have influenced the theme first skeptical as, browsing in my book- to advanced topics like Riemann sur- of the book, I would mention [Pe65] in store, I took the book from the shelf.

In- tivity, and cosmology. In fact, I am hard a trapped surface, a singularity in global deed, the reader is first gently prepared pressed to come up with a book that is space-time must necessarily occur at a with explanations for the technical sec- even a close second in this way. It is gravitational collapse.

Roughly, this is tions. And when the formulas come, the one of the very few science books of when space-time cannot be continued reader is ready and will then w a n t the ambitious scope that is not viewed by and classical general relativity breaks mathematical equations.

They aren't just students as intimidating. Penrose's down. The present book leads the dumped on you! Penrose's book is clever use of Prologue and Epilogue en- reader on a search for a unified theory likely to help high school students get- gaged me as an uninitiated reader. There is something seller, I expect that it worked well for dominant at singularities. I can't begin to do justice to this uniting relativity and quantum theory. Get it, and judge for yourself. I Not surprisingly, this grand mathemati- the list goes on.

I believe Penrose will also not give away the ending, cal scheme is directed at unification, proves that it is possible for one group other than by saying that the title of the combining powerful algebraic and geo- of readers to be respectful of the needs book offers a hint. And you will be able metric tools! You won't miliar with other Penrose books will It is both a big idea and, especially, a be spoon fed!

As with all good and probably detect the contours of the au- unifying vision. What laws govern our subtle endings to novels, this one can thor's prolific scientific activities span- universe? How may we know them? Yet eral levels. They underlie of them: Roger Penrose, a professor of A small sample of topics from the both the mathematics roughly one mathematics at the University of Ox- contents will give you a taste.

This is third of the book: Fourier analysis, visions of infinity , and relativity theory and quantum me- The roots of science. An ancient theo- the physics: In addition, rem and a modern question. Geometry black holes , gravity, thermodynamics, he has for decades pursued his inter- of logarithms, powers, and roots. Real relativity classical and modern: Calculus a re- groups, quantum gravity, twisters , and for example geometric tessellations.

Func- quantum theory wave-particle duality, Penrose tiles--tile systems covering a tions and Fourier's vision. Surfaces and atomic spectra, coherence, measure- surface with prescribed shapes, say manifolds plus calculus revisited. Sym- ments. Fiber bundles. Tensor In the case of this book, a line-by- repeat regularly, but on closer exami- bundles and tensor calculus.

Cantor's line overview from the table of contents nation do not: A compelling feature of A "hobby" of apparently frivolous geo- theorem. The physics topics range the presentation of topics from mathe- metrical puzzles, Penrose tiles are actu- from classical Minkowski, Maxwell, La- matics is that it is sprinkled with ex- ally studied by solid-state physicists: As with all good and probably detect the contours of the au- unifying vision.

What laws govern our subtle endings to novels, this one can thor's prolific scientific activities span- universe? How may we know them? Yet eral levels. They underlie of them: Roger Penrose, a professor of A small sample of topics from the both the mathematics roughly one mathematics at the University of Ox- contents will give you a taste. This is third of the book: modern geometry, ford, is known for his outstanding con- only a sample, as there are 34 substan- Riemann surfaces, complex functions, tributions to mathematics, to physics tial and wide-ranging chapters in all.

Fourier analysis, visions of infinity , and relativity theory and quantum me- The roots of science. An ancient theo- the physics: cosmology the big bang, chanics , and to cosmology.

In addition, rem and a modern question. Geometry black holes , gravity, thermodynamics, he has for decades pursued his inter- of logarithms, powers, and roots. Real relativity classical and modern: loop ests in writing and in recreational math, and complex numbers. Calculus a re- groups, quantum gravity, twisters , and for example geometric tessellations. Func- quantum theory wave-particle duality, Penrose tiles--tile systems covering a tions and Fourier's vision.

Surfaces and atomic spectra, coherence, measure- surface with prescribed shapes, say manifolds plus calculus revisited. Sym- ments. Fiber bundles. Tensor In the case of this book, a line-by- repeat regularly, but on closer exami- bundles and tensor calculus. Cantor's line overview from the table of contents nation do not: they are quasi-periodic.

A compelling feature of A "hobby" of apparently frivolous geo- theorem. The physics topics range the presentation of topics from mathe- metrical puzzles, Penrose tiles are actu- from classical Minkowski, Maxwell, La- matics is that it is sprinkled with ex- ally studied by solid-state physicists: grange, and Hamilton to modern, start- amples from physics. I wish this were some chemical substances are now ing with Einstein's theory of relativity done more in standard mathematics known to form crystals in a quasi-peri- and the pioneers of quantum mechan- texts.

Not only does this motivate and odic manner. For Penrose's grand am- thor and his father are the creators of mology, the early universe, gravity, su- bition, this is essential. I hope that Department of Mathematics ures have been used in the work of Penrose's b o o k will n o w encourage The University of Iowa Maurits Cornelis Escher in his creation b o o k publishers to give our subject the Iowa City, IA of structures such as the waterfall, attention it so richly deserves.

USA where the water appears to flow uphill, e-maih jorgen math. But w h e n I started A Complete Guide semester, and had a hard time present- to read, I found myself unable to put it ing Riemann surfaces in an attractive down. And I didn't.

I bought it and had to the Laws of the way. It's a subject that typically comes several days of enjoyable reading. I am across as intimidating in many of the not likely to put it away to collect dust, Universe classical books: take Herman Weyl's, for either. It is the kind of b o o k you will by Roger Penrose example. I found the graphics in Pen- want to keep using, and to return to.

They I expect that readers will react dif- PP. The choice of title gave me as- more accurate title might be ical in textbooks. Readers will probably relate better to illustrations with a per- sonal touch: his clever use of shading presents core ideas much better and sociations perhaps intended , bringing to mind Douglas Adams's amusing lit- tle b o o k series, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Here's a sample of sub-ti- A "Many Roads to Reality. And they are tles in those hilarious books: Life, the would maintain that there is a unique less intimidating: We sense that we our- universe, and everything and Mostly road to reality.

Another association was a fa- Roger Penrose has gained interna- similar pencil sketches. Or at least we vorite series of mine of popular science tional recognition for his research into are encouraged to try! Several of Gamow's ric combinatorics, quantum field the- is student involvement.

The choice of books were recently reprinted, for ex- ory, differential geometry, and related exercises is essential: they help stu- ample, Mr.

Tompkins in Paperback. I disciplines. He is passionately commit- dents-and other r e a d e r s - - b e c o m e only mention my associations with ted to the advancement of knowledge, part of the discovery.

The pictures and these more lighthearted books to en- with particular emphasis on the pro- the projects serve to bring to life the courage readers to be realistic in their motion and defense of his o w n ideas. Beginners might oth- expectations. Judging by its top rank- By turns provocative and profound, a erwise get lost in the math and the ing at site.