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Hidden Unity in Nature's Laws Paperback – 9 Apr 2001


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'Are you lost in modern theoretical physics? Do you need help with understanding squarks, selectrons, photinos? Or do you require quidance on the subject of the Higgs particle? Perhaps you need a hint as to the meaning of quintessence in cosmology? If any of these apply, then this is the book for you … an undoubted success … many worthwhile ideas are expounded here which even a newcomer to physics could understand. I strongly recommend this book.' Peter Landsberg, Nature

'What makes this book extremely valuable is that the author has succeeded in adhering to his geometric approach throughout, starting with Galileo and ending with Ed Witten and Stephen Hawking.' Gerald 't Hooft, Physics World

'… provides excellent insight into recent developments in physics …'. P. H. Borcherds, European Journal of Physics

'This book covers a vast expanse of physics and is a genuine tour de force for its insights and intellectual honesty. This is an exceptional book by an exceptional physicist.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

Book Description

As physics has progressed through the ages it has succeeded in explaining more and more diverse phenomena with fewer and fewer underlying principles. This lucid and wide-ranging book explains how this understanding has developed by periodically uncovering unexpected 'hidden unities' in nature. An illuminating read.

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In the summer of 1609, Galileo Galilei, professor of mathematics at the University of Padua, began constructing telescopes and using them to look at the Moon and stars. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Hidden Unity in Nature's Laws 4 Nov 2002
By Joe Zika - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Hidden Unity in Nature's Laws written by John C. Taylor is a book about how physics and nature come together and how physics explains nature. Now, before you get all huffy and discount reading this book, let me say this, the author has taken great pains in explaining the mathematics in this book, making a very understandable and highly readable book.
This book has two major themes associated with its writing. First, there is a pattern of unification, the major example explained by the author is between magnetism and electricity, Research has showed that electricity and magnetism are interconnected... not that they are the same thing, but they are two aspects of a unified whole.
The other major theme the author brings out in the book is that quite often, different branches of physics have seemed to contradict each other when taken together. As the contradiction is resolved in a new, consistent, wider theory which include the two branches. This is called the resolution of contradictions.
What is so nice about this book is this, you'll need some knowledge of mathematics and physics, but the explaination is very understandable. There is a fascinating insight into the development of our fundamental understanding of the world, and the apparent simplicity underlying it.
The author takes us on an interesting path that leads right to the heart of physics, but never forgettting that his readers are not as skilled at physics as he is. Therefore, he uses pictures in explaining the mathematical priciples associated with explaining the problem, translating the equations into words or pictures.
I found this book to be highly readable and very understandable, explaining physics in terms that a layperson can gain the concepts and have a workable knowledge of what physics is all about. This book will get you on the ground floor.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Amazing Breadth and Depth of Knowledge of Physics 3 Dec 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The author obviously has an amazing command of the complete range of his subject, physics. This book is both a an excellent history and an excellent narrative of the unfolding of man's search for the fundamental nature of the micro and macro nature of matter and the universe.
My only fault with this book is a paradox: the author assumes that the readers "don't know much about math" so for most of the book he painfully avoids writing equations, and substitutes wordy explanations. In doing so some of the beauty of his narrative is lost. The paradox is that anyone whe is going to plow into this book and get anything out of it, had better have a good handle on math at least algebra.
3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Worst Kind of Scientific Writing 7 Sep 2005
By D. S. Heersink - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know whether it's because the author is British or else my expectations were too low, but this text presents several communication problems. The syntax is frequently poor. E.g., "It was Clairaut who also correctly predicted the return of Haley's comet in 1759." What happened in 1759? Clairaut's prediction or the return of Haley's comet? Words are frequently introduced early and explained later. Maybe most people in Great Britain know what a "parallax" is, but it is used five times before it's defined. Fortunately, an adequate, but by no means expansive, glossary is available. Many sentential structures are opaque, like "if the situation could exist, the work done on a particle in a closed curve would not be zero." Antecedently, curves aren't even mentioned, nor are particles. Whence this expression about conservation of energy? This text causes a lot of similar kinds of confusion; many passages had to be reread several times to get its sense. (It can be done, but it's extremely time-consuming and highly annoying.) Mathematical formulas are introduced pages before their explanations (if one is even given). Reading science can be fun, but this book was absolutely no fun at all. I've read scores of science books, but none was as convoluted and contorted as this one. Even when one perseveres, one is disappointed by the thesis. Pass.
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