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Warped Passages: Unravelling the Universe's Hidden Dimensions (Penguin Press Science) Paperback – 3 Aug 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141012978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141012971
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Lisa Randall, a leading theorist, has made major contributions to both particle physics and cosmology."--Brian Greene, bestselling author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabrics of the Cosmos

About the Author

Lisa Randall is on a quest to explain the fabric of reality. She is a leading theoretical physicist - the world's most cited - and an expert on string theory. She was the first tenured woman in the Princeton Physics department and the first tenured woman theorist at MIT and Harvard.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone who took an astrophysics degree in the seventies I have tried to keep up to date with developments in the field, at the level of pop-sci books. However as of the late nineties it seemed that Physics was getting bogged down. After a long Golden-Age of prediction and dicovery the Standard Model and the Big-Bang were threatening to unravel. So the last such book I read was Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory which I found unsatisfying in that it just made clear that, if I wanted to really understand what was happening, I was going to have to devote time and energy I just didn't have, to get to grips with some new maths.

So, seven years later I thought I'd give this a try and see if I could get some kind of layman's angle on what was going on these days. The book starts well in reviewing the history of physics. There's a very concise and to the point description of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

There's a description of the Standard Model that I did find useful. I thought I had a fairly good understanding of the Standard Model, but the lady filled in some new areas for me, Electroweak theory and the Higg's mechanism which led me to a more flexible understanding of particle mass than I had had before.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. W. Iles on 4 Oct 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am not a scientist. I'm a writer and former actor. But, ever since I was a kid and discovered Scientific American, I've had an abiding interest in science both for the things there are to learn and the recreation that reading science offers. So, I've read a ton of stuff about science.
I have read some books that have knocked me off my feet over the years. But, Warped Passeges knocks their sox off. I admired the book so much that after I read my library copy, I bought it.
The first time I ever heard (outside SF, of course) about dimensions beyond three of space and one of time, was not so long ago when New Scientist did a piece on the idea. The problem was that the article raised too many questions of the wrong kind. What the piece whould have done is deal precisely with the questions that were raised. Those were the simple basic questions. For example, What is a dimension? The answer was not forthcoming in any set of words that made sense.
In Warped Passages, Lisa Randall, not only answered that question but it made sense to me and gave me a good idea of what the teeny, tiny ones are. I could never find anyone to make even the slightest sensible explanation before.
The whole book answers rafts of questions of that nature and a whole lot more as well. I'm grateful to her for that. The book even led to the answer to a question that has bothered me for many years - Why is there only one time dimension?
The answer lies in Randall's field of model making (I didn't even know what model making meant in physics before reading the book) which suffuses her book. For me, it was her historical, beginning, middle, end approach that took me by the hand and led me down a pretty wonderful garden path.
You may not need the most basic questions answered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniboy on 13 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book introduces in a clear and concise manner many difficult and advanced concepts. To do this without mathematics is an impressive feat, which Randall seems to have accomplished. I study physics and have just completed my Bachelor degree so I found extremely tedious to read what I already knew as it was repeated again and again in a long string of pretty much identical analogies. If you don't understand it the first time it's explained, you might understand it the second, third or even sixth time time it's explained in a very similar way to the first.

This element of irritation aside, the book still gave me useful insight into a world of physics I have but scratched the surface of. I think the target reader is the scientifically interested / scientifically aware person who would like to get into the "juicy bits" of physics without going through the long and winding academic road. For physics or mathematics undergraduates, you can easily skip the first hundred or two hundred pages without missing a thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Finnick on 27 May 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I have read from the physicist Lisa Randall and it didn't disapoint. The book is a facinating and exciting journey through our current knowledge of physics and cosmology which will perplex and impress the lay person and student alike.
Lisa Randall is at the cutting edge of theoretical physics and these new ideas on higher demensional space, strings and branes, which Randall writes about so enthusiastically, makes one realise the Universe - or indeed, Multiverse - is far more bizarre and beautiful than we could imagine.
A very enjoyable read.
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