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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly sane Theory of (Almost) Everything
The ideas in this book on the much coveted The Theory of Everything are stunning. Duffield is the first to admit that there are some loose ends to his ideas, but the general theme is sound and he leads the reader into his ideas in an approachable way.

Duffield's chief inspiration is Einstein, whos papers, which he reads in the original german, say things that...
Published on 25 May 2009 by J. Eadon

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate, out-dated
WARNING: This book contains a lot of personal theories about space, time and matter, and doesn't bother to highlight for the reader what is established physics and what is not. Parts of it flatly contradict what modern theoretical and experimental physics have discovered.

In addition, a lot of what is claimed here was written long before the recent important...
Published 19 months ago by ctamblyn


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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate, out-dated, 10 May 2013
This review is from: RELATIVITY+ : The Theory of Everything (Paperback)
WARNING: This book contains a lot of personal theories about space, time and matter, and doesn't bother to highlight for the reader what is established physics and what is not. Parts of it flatly contradict what modern theoretical and experimental physics have discovered.

In addition, a lot of what is claimed here was written long before the recent important discoveries at the LHC, and has been rendered obsolete as a result.

If you'd like to learn actual physics, even at a basic level, I recommend getting a book by an actual physicist instead.
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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly sane Theory of (Almost) Everything, 25 May 2009
By 
J. Eadon "James Eadon" (Nottinghamshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: RELATIVITY+ : The Theory of Everything (Paperback)
The ideas in this book on the much coveted The Theory of Everything are stunning. Duffield is the first to admit that there are some loose ends to his ideas, but the general theme is sound and he leads the reader into his ideas in an approachable way.

Duffield's chief inspiration is Einstein, whos papers, which he reads in the original german, say things that are startlingly different to what people usually say Einstein says. For example Einstein was opposed to the 4D "spacetime" geometric interpretation of Special and General Relativity.

The good

This is a no-nonsense physics book. Yet it is so interesting that a friend who is an archetypical spiritual woman (she borrowed a copy of this book from me) was hardly able to put it down. I doubt you could say that about dry physics books such as "The Brief History Of Time". Yet Relativity plus is far more insightful and entertaining than "Brief History Of Time", the latter being a book that I did not enjoy.

This is a cliche, but if you read the book you will never again, think of the world the same way. Because that is what the book is about. What is energy? What is light? What is charge? What is matter? What is gravity? What is an electron? What is a quark? The answers are not what you are expecting, believe me! The description of the electron and the photon alone are so poetic you will be astonished.

The quirks:

The book is not perfect. For the most part, the book is clear and lucid to the intelligent layman who knows nothing about physics. But new readers should not have a qualm about skipping some paragraphs that discuss some dense aspects of electromagnetism. This book is not dumbed down, which is great. But do not give up when you hit a tricky chunk of text, thinking you're not up to it. It's normal! Skip it and the writing soon becomes simple and clear again and the text easy to follow.

Impatient readers may wish to skip some of the preamble of the opening chapters, and dive into the science.

Inevitably for a book with a scope as great as this book's, Relativity+ is a little vague on some details that I was curious about, such as Duffield's interpretation of how protons bind to neutrons, and what a neutron looks like. (A proton is illustrated). The book is full of pictures and diagrams, however some diagrams of how certain subatomic particles bind would be a bonus.

Conclusion:

Such a book would be difficult to get published by our press, due to the pressure that the ideas within would place on established physicists, especially String Theorists (who, strictly speaking, are not physicists but mumbo jumbo metaphysicists).

The String Wars: Relatvitiy+ is a theory of everything that is consistent with Quantum Mechanics and Relativity, however the interpretation of these is radical and amazing. And the book makes predictions - there is no higgs, there is no graviton, gravity vanishes when the other forces of nature merge, and so on.

The elegant ideas in this book, Relativity+ are deadly to "String Theory", and it will be extremely difficult to get the ideas herewithin into the wider world without the author being dragged into some pretty grim "String wars" battles. Expect the string theorists to play dirty, and be vaguely dismissive. If this book gains traction, expect the String Theorists to go on the attack with negative reviews on the web and in the media. If the string theorists abhor this book, then you will know that this book is on the right lines. String theory (or "M-theory") is not actually a scientific theory, for it is incapable of making testable predictions, and this will always will be the case, as the foundations are fundamentally flawed.

Advanced readers who liked this book may also consider an additional book, "Not Even Wrong" by Peter Woit, which discusses the failure of String Theory, but also has some excellent explanations on the physics of the unification of the forces.

In summary, Relativity+ is a must-read for anybody who is interested in what matter is, what space is, what subatomic particles are, in clear writing. Most of all, Relativity+ is IMPORTANT! You will not think the same way about light again! Of the many science books I read, Duffield's book stands out as the most insightful and original I have read in a decade or more.
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7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plain and Simple, 18 May 2009
This review is from: RELATIVITY+ : The Theory of Everything (Paperback)
Have you ever wanted to know what's all those quantum physics, relativity, string theories, black holes, quarks, gravity, electricity, magnetism, photons and electrons, matter and anti-matter is all about and how it all "hangs" together? Or perhaps you are a deeply philosophical and contemplative type, often staring at the stars, feeling a strange closeness and reckoning and wondering what it is all about and how it all came about?

Relativity+ manages to cover all of those subjects, plus many more, in mere 181 pages written in plain English, with remaining 40 pages taken up by References. That's not bad. For a regular busy person who can spare no more than 10-15 minutes a day for quality reading and pondering about Life and Universe to finally have a consistent mental picture of her/his world and beyond - that's a pretty attractive proposition.

And so it should be. Less is more, whole is greater than the sum of its parts and John Duffield's book definitely delivers in both of those areas. It offers clarity, simplicity and, above all, coherent view of all that is - light and energy, our bodies, space and time, black holes, galaxies and Universe as a whole. And it will all feel close to your heart, relevant to you, homely - rather than some abstract, complex scientific mambo-jumbo full of imaginary, non-existent mathematical plains and dimensions that leave one even more clueless and wondering about the whole purpose of science instead.

Be warned though! This book might leave you hungry for more! Luckily John leaves plenty of reference points on the way: names, terms, concepts, theories and equations so you can drill deep down into them at your own will and leisure - the book is worth having just for this alone.

Lastly, the fact that nearly 20% of the book is dedicated to Figures and References should put you at rest that this book is not yet another product of pseudo-scientific sensationalism, and that John's intentions are pure and honest: his only aim is to help you to understand that which has been made incomprehensible by science. So you can explain it to your mates in the pub. Oh, and your grandmother too.
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7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 14 April 2009
By 
J. Dunning-Davies (Hull, Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: RELATIVITY+ : The Theory of Everything (Paperback)
Many may be surprised to learn that physics is in dire straits today. Why, when all the news is about wonderful advances in all areas? The answer is that very few scientists are truly thinking! Everyone is rushing ahead with grand announcements based on presently accepted conventional wisdom. However, what is rarely mentioned is that conventional thinking simply cannot explain many phenomena and some theories lauded to the public are, quite simply, wrong. Of course, whether theories are right or wrong matters little if the perpetrators are bringing in money; that is, research grants and these grants are almost always awarded to those who conform to the dictats of conventional wisdom.
Hence, this book - written by someone outside what might be termed the mainstream - comes as a true breath of fresh air! John Duffield has thought in depth about many of the fundamental issues of physics. In this book, he presents his answers in a language accessible to anyone - scientist and layman alike. However, I would urge each and every reader - and I hope there are many - to approach the text with a truly open mind. Are all the ideas presented correct? I don't know. Do I agree with the ideas presented? With some, but I still have to think carefully about others. Many of the fundamental ideas are radically different from what has gone before and it may be that John Duffield is ahead of his time. Who knows? Some ideas, though, are regurgitation of ideas that used to be taught at A-level and are still to be found in, for example, such books as 'Intermediate Mechanics' by D. Humphrey - a book that used to be a standard A-level text but is now far too advanced for sixth forms! The real truth is that this book by John Duffield is full of basic fundamental ideas related to physics and, hence, to all of us and our lives. Read it; think carefully about its contents; then sit back and reflect. This will take some effort but will be well worth it. I only hope senior figures in the scientific establishment have the courage to do this, but with open minds!
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6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A graviton free model of physics?, 11 July 2009
By 
This review is from: RELATIVITY+ : The Theory of Everything (Paperback)
It might be handy to know about special and general relativity and other fields before you tackle this book, that is it might if it were not for the clear and careful diagrams and text that open up a new way of looking at physics, that even a novice should be able to grasp.

From amateur to expert this book is a good addition to anyone interested in the field. Whether ultimately the Large Hadron Collider at CERN turns up a God particle: Higgs Boson or not, or such models highlighted here are ultimately correct, the carefully presented ideas detail a great overall history of the modern field and is well worth a read, whether you are a standard model fan or a string theorist or just an interested layman. I heartily recommend it if you are interested in physics from the quantum scale to the cosmic scale. In fact I heartily recommend it if you are not as its a good place to start.
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7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars With an open mind, physics can still be fun!, 27 Mar 2009
This review is from: RELATIVITY+ : The Theory of Everything (Paperback)
RELATIVITY+ THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING by John Duffield is a romp. It is not for everyone. It is intended for the non-technical, but interested, reader. On the other hand, the professional physicist, who is interested in looking beyond what is "taught," would benefit from the ideas presented (both in the concepts and in the manner conveyed). Many of the ideas should be taught at the high school level. Even at the graduate physics level, some of them would greatly help students and should now be taught there.

RELATIVITY+ is not mathematical (although it uses the concepts, such as knot theory). It is phrased in a manner that you can grasp. It generally starts at the beginning (both in the history and development of the concepts). The use of illustrations (and illusions, to point out how things are often not what they seem) is important. Most of the time, the author remembers his audience and defines terms adequately. Being a physicist myself, I probably overlooked many places where we both assumed that "everybody knows that." There are times that he gets too deep too fast for most readers. Don't worry about it, go with the flow. You'll come back on line later. You can always go back to areas of interest.

I disagree with a few of his concepts and have questions about even more of the ideas presented (more so toward the end of the book). But, I do that in "accepted" physics as well. I'm willing to argue about them - and to learn. I think that is an attitude with which the book must be approached. Don't assume that his ideas (such as his development of energy, light, time, and matter) are the truth, or otherwise. If they fit, if they bring the universe closer, then use them. Do not assume that all of them will tell you what physicists or cosmologists think today. However, they may tell you what experts will think tomorrow. Some of the many models (such as the structure of electrons from light), while probably correct (or close), are "before their time." They have not yet had twenty years of group study to iron out any inconsistencies and contradictions. Even if some of them turn out to be wrong, they are food for thought. If a physicist rejects this book as simplistic or unorthodox, then he is making a mistake and losing valuable insights. I will be referencing this book in technical papers.

My perception of the author is that, if he has the depth and knowledge displayed in this book in other fields as well, he is a great intellectual. He has picked up ideas from many sources and has seen implications and applications that are generally missed. I was much impressed with his brief development of the Fallaco Soliton, an uncommonly described phenomenon that I have, for years, considered to be extremely important to physics as well as interesting.

John Duffield writes well. RELATIVITY+ THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is interesting, probing, challenging, and often (as he intended) just fun physics. If you are willing to entertain some unaccepted ideas, along with the accepted ones (often from a better perspective), then you will benefit from your time spent in this book.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too much nonsense, too little exposition., 3 Nov 2009
This review is from: RELATIVITY+ : The Theory of Everything (Paperback)
The author obviously knows physics, but not how to teach it. Instead of enlightening the reader as repeatedly promised, he annoys the reader with too much adolescent humor, childish illustrations, unfinished thoughts, irrelevant distractions and in general too much nonsense.
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RELATIVITY+ : The Theory of Everything
RELATIVITY+ : The Theory of Everything by John Duffield (Paperback - 9 Jan 2009)
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