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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multiverse Review
Another well though out and researched book by John Gribbin that really shows how there are no clean cut lines on the fringes of science, on the outer most edges of the most macroscopic and microscopic parts of our universe there is not even a division between fact and fantasy. Loved this book and would have given it 5 stars but for 2 things,
1. Nomenclature is...
Published on 24 Sep 2009 by Ms. Catherine Mccourt

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a book which reflects the theoretical nature of the subject
John Gribbin is one of the best science writes around, but even he seems to struggle with this subject.
The normal run for a Gribbin book is:
summarise the history
explore the development through experiments
restate proofs
summarise how much we know now and give indications of future developments
but, the fact that this book is almost all...
Published on 18 Aug 2011 by The Kob


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a book which reflects the theoretical nature of the subject, 18 Aug 2011
By 
The Kob (the black country) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Search of the Multiverse (Paperback)
John Gribbin is one of the best science writes around, but even he seems to struggle with this subject.
The normal run for a Gribbin book is:
summarise the history
explore the development through experiments
restate proofs
summarise how much we know now and give indications of future developments
but, the fact that this book is almost all hypothesis and theory leaves him and us high and dry.

I suspect somewhere there was an editor saying, "No Maths!" and unusually there is not one single diagram either, the book feels cheap and slightly rushed with no one having re-read it and ordered a final overhaul to help the flow of ideas going.
Gribbin himself admits in an afterward that this isn't quite the book meant to write and that it is more personal than usual. There is definitely more of him and his views in than normal, while this is not unwelcome per se, it is odd to hear the normally silent narrator making his preference for one or other theory heard.

Then there is the title `multiverse'. In actual fact, this book is about the Anthropic principal and new theories of the big bang(s) and whole manyverse beyond our Observable Universe that might exist. Multiverse, parallel worlds and quantum physics has about 40pages in a 200page book. Interesting stuff to be sure, but maybe not where you expect it to go given the title and the blurb.

Oddly, I ordered this at the same time as Susskind's Black Hole War but read Gribbin first as an entrée to what I thought would be the more challenging read. I didn't really think the subject matter would overlap as much as it does and for my money Susskind has a clearer exposition, even with the more difficult (outrageous?) ideas. While Gribbin seems to have forgotten to cover the basics Susskind reminds us of the value of clear explanation no matter who your audience is.

I read a lot of science, I have a science degree, to me a good science book brings together many strands of tentative explanation and weaves them together to show recent progress, sadly this falls short of that.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multiverse Review, 24 Sep 2009
By 
Ms. Catherine Mccourt (ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Another well though out and researched book by John Gribbin that really shows how there are no clean cut lines on the fringes of science, on the outer most edges of the most macroscopic and microscopic parts of our universe there is not even a division between fact and fantasy. Loved this book and would have given it 5 stars but for 2 things,
1. Nomenclature is sometimes unclear or else several different schools of thought are describing the same thing but all with different names which makes it confusing,
2. Really needed a bigger chapter of John's own thoughts and conclusions at the end.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Overview .. And More Questions Raised, 27 Dec 2009
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What an interesting book.

Let's first dispose, perhaps, of 2 small complaints, which apply to all of John Gribbin's books: John's irrepressible habit to include largely irrelevant biographical data in his texts - as in, in this book, Quote his draft thesis, typed up by his gilrlfriend Nancy Gore, whom he married the following year unquote or "he was born in Washington DC, on 11 November 1930". Frankly - who cares? Another slightly grating habit is the belaboring of extremely elementary points - such as the author's constant reminders of what "10 the power N" means - anyone who would have difficulty grasping this, even if they extraordinarily enough did not know it yet, but nevertheless read popular science books - would surely have got it the first time!

Now for the gist of the book. The book is an overview and analysis of the current state of play in our search for understanding our Universe, either as a unique Universe or as one within a Multiverse of Universes - where our Universe is one of many (a more technical, and in some ways narrower, overview of learned opinions on the subject ranging from strong acceptance to strong rejection of the concept(s) of the Multiverse is to be found in the book 'Universe or Multiverse, edited by Bernard Carr)

John Gribbin's book shines in many ways, but leaves some questions hanging and IMHO does not go far enough in certain areas. Commendably, he cites Edward Tryon's work - a work that had been rejected out of hand by many eminent Physicists, because Tryon was way ahead of his time when he first described in the late sixties our Universe as the possible result of a rogue quantum fluctuation in a pre-existing environment. The reason for the rejection was that the inflationary scenario (as put forward by Alan Guth) was not yet understood - yet, when I discussed Tryon's model with a couple of world-renowned Physicists as recently as 2005, several years after Alan Guth became famous, they still rejected Tryon's ideas out of hand.

A couple of points that are mentioned almost in passing by John Gribbin would require book-length treatment, and some meta-results seem assumed rather than proven. For instance, he commendably indicates, almost in passing, that time is quantized (an idea astonishingly still controversial in some quarters) and without further ado sets the value of the time quantum at the Planck value. There is absolutely no evidence that the time quantum indeed has that value - the Planck time solely sets an upper boundary to a range of possible time quantum values - there is most likely one time quantum value per Universe within the Metaverse.

Finally- Max Tegmark is a well-known proponent of mathematics as being the ultimate reality - and although John Gribbing cites Max Tegmark's work several times, and in addition rightly says in the course of the text that 'the truth lies in the equations', he does not explore enough the explanatory and predictive power that pure mathematics lends our attempts to explain the Universe.

As for the conclusion - no spoiler here - I am a whit worried that the conclusion does not address properly an issue it raises, that of backwards recurrence. Overall, a five-star effort, possibly better read in conjunction with Bernard Carr's compilatory volume, but an excellent book in its own right.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has Gribbin found God?, 21 Oct 2009
By 
Charlie T. (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
Has John Gribbin found God? His latest mind-blowing description of cutting edge physics and quantum weirdness starts out conventionally enough (if any of this stuff can be thought of as being conventional) but ends up concluding that our universe is an artifact created by intelligent beings in another universe. The way he explains it, it all seems quite logical, even if along the way he espouses the "block universe" idea (which Einstein favoured) which says that all times are as real as all space, so that "tomorrow" and "yesterday" always exist, in the same way that New York exists even when you are not in New York. The difference is that according to Gribbin ALL possible tomorrows and yesterdays exist in the Multiverse!
Explaning all this involves quantum physics, thermodynamics, and string theory. But in Gribbin's skillful hands the process is quite painless and straightforward. If you liked his tale of Schrodinger's Cat, this is definitely for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...left me a bit less stupid, 14 Jan 2012
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This review is from: In Search of the Multiverse (Paperback)
The type of book that make you feel less stupid after reading it... Simply one of the best book of popular science on the subject for me!
It filled many gaps I had on the subject and Gribbin succeeded make me understand some concept I could not grasp before with other writers.
The last chapters are litterally breathtaking (at least for an amateur reader like me.
I just bought another book from him so much I loved this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind stretching, 6 May 2011
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This review is from: In Search of the Multiverse (Paperback)
Excellent introduction to the frontiers of cosomology and physics. Must be read with an open mind, reality is not as you perceive it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy read, enjoyable and makes simple the complex, 11 April 2011
By 
J. Gornall "jg" (uk) - See all my reviews
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If you want to know how things got the way they did in the Universe and have some understanding of what reality is......well read John Gribbin's Book in search of the Multi-verse. Definitely recommend.
J.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 5 July 2014
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Mr. N. C. Gravette (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Search of the Multiverse (Paperback)
It was the book that I wanted, it arrived promptly and in the condition stated. Very interesting content.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I was expecting, 13 May 2014
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This review is from: In Search of the Multiverse (Paperback)
Well written, and the author takes care to be as inclusive as possible for the layman to the subject, however.....I genuinely was looking forward to a book of similar ilk to many worlds in one, or in search of the multiverse, or even, endless universe, sadly out of 200 odd pages, the exploration of multiverse was not covered as deeply as the title suggests. Still worth a read though....
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you like being made to feel insignificant, this is the book for you, 9 Jan 2014
This review is from: In Search of the Multiverse (Paperback)
John Gribbin has a superb writing style, he builds up the arguments slowly and clearly, and regularly reviews what has been discussed so far as a reminder.

A fascinating tour of the history of our understanding of the universe and the latest state of knowledge on the multiverse. Thoroughly absorbing from start to finish. I have a degree in Astrophysics; I would say that almost all of the book was clear to me, but one or two chapters lost me. this is not a reflection of John Gribbin's writing ability, these are complex theories. I would suggest that readers will get more out of the book if they have a science background. There is plenty for readers without a science background, however, just be prepared to have your mind blown!

I found it extremely difficult to put this book down and I'm sure the other versions of me did also.
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In Search of the Multiverse
In Search of the Multiverse by John Gribbin (Paperback - 26 Aug 2010)
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