on 7 September 2009
Awesome. What a find. This is a top quality guide for the intelligent interested lay person like myself. I hesitated for an interminably long while before buying. First there is the ugly green cover. Then there is the title "Superstrings and Other Things" which let's face it does not entice one to open one's wallet except one is a geek. Yet the book is anything but, except I admit at the very end on quantum mechanics and particle physics. Superstrings are not even mentioned until the final 10 pages! Thirdly and finally there are no high profile endorsements (duh!). I count myself very lucky to have bought despite the aforementioned "negatives" and I know they shouldn't be negatives if content was all but we know that form sells.
I enjoyed reading this book enormously stopping frequently to reflect and gain new insights into the wonderful phenomena we call the universe and our world. Perhaps the most telling sentence is this: "Physics does not tell us about what is but about what we can describe regarding the world". It had just struck me that some of the things being described and explained were in fact concepts rather than actual physical things. Aha! Even then I still struggled in places. No doubt this begs a reread.
This is a much better crafted and much more satisfying read than the heavily touted A Brief History In Time at least I think anyway. My advice to the publishers: (1) change the cover to something sexy (2) change the title to something sexy (even just A Guide To Physics. "Superstrings" may sound trendy but is actually intimidating). My advice to the writer: a less mathematical and more diagrammatic or expository approach on the nuclear/quantum physics sections would be more consistent with the rest of the book.
All in all, a gem of a book.
on 21 May 2003
This book is good in general - however there is one slight problem that I can see... that is that the author has written that 10^(1/2) x 10^(1/2) (i.e. root 10, multiplied by root 10), equals 1! (?!?!) Sorry, but the answer is 10 - quite obviously! Oh dear - a printing error I think!
Other than that, it is a good read!