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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely provocative read
I bought this book as I was interested in both general relativity and the quantum and, having read several books on the subject, I was keen on the 'why' rather than just the 'what'. This book was perfect in that regard; it is the most thought-provoking book I've read on the subject and hugely convincing. It is an attempt to derive and interpret physical theory from the...
Published on 15 July 2012 by Sharon Wigham

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not convinced
I am not a physicist, nor does the author presume that reader will be one. I was able to follow the argument presented but will need to go through it again. I'd like to hear what any expert in the fields of Relativity and Quantum mechanics thinks of the authors main thesis.
Published 18 months ago by R. Ding


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely provocative read, 15 July 2012
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This review is from: Hidden In Plain Sight: The simple link between relativity and quantum mechanics (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book as I was interested in both general relativity and the quantum and, having read several books on the subject, I was keen on the 'why' rather than just the 'what'. This book was perfect in that regard; it is the most thought-provoking book I've read on the subject and hugely convincing. It is an attempt to derive and interpret physical theory from the bottom up (from easy to understand principles) rather than the usual 'top-down' approach. Thomas takes as his starting point the basic principle that 'there is nothing outside the universe' and from this convincingly derives, by way of simple analogy, an astonishing amount of both quantum and relativity theory. I have a physics degree from many years ago and was delighted to see stuff I'd learned because I had to spring out from basic principles. I'm not qualified to decide the scientific merit of the book's theme but I found it genuinely moving and utterly fascinating. For me it's the best book I've read on the subject. One of those books you think about for a long time afterwards.

Some details: only one equation in the book and this used only as a demo, you don't need to know any maths. Of the many analogies in the book, only one or two I found a bit vague - reading on sorted that out. Lastly, the author's website, quoted in the references, has some great material in the same vein.

Finally, the author has nothing to say about the subject of a God, but while reading this book, the subject sprang to my mind many times. To find so much necessity emerging from the assumption that the universe is all that exists drives the reader to consider more than just the physics. Read that whichever way you will! 10/10 - I'd have paid a lot more for this.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars relativity and quantum mechanics - explore the link, 27 Sep 2012
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Yes, I'm a bit of a sucker for this kind of book. But this is a serious study written with extreme clarity - and not a little humour.
Physicists, Andrew Thomas says, take a `top down' approach - for example researching ever smaller particles. But, he argues, this can never provide final 'answers' for science: There will always be something beyond the latest research.
Instead, Thomas uses an approach based on logical 'fundamentals' - starting at the bottom as it were, and working upwards.
In this way Thomas explores and explains the relationship between special relativity and quantum mechanics (crudely, between the macro world and the micro world)
I found the logic totally convincing. The answers, for example, to puzzles about counter-intuitive phenomena in quantum mechanics, are staring us in the face Thomas thinks - hence the title.
Thomas says that this approach using fundamentals is seen by science as an area for philosophy, so it is not currently receiving much attention from physicists. It seems to me that this is a serious loss because the top-down and bottom-up approaches should be complementary.

Kindle: The diagrams are clear and humorous. At 77p it is great value. No typos.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rather different, very readable book on this complicated subject., 12 Aug 2012
By 
Alastair Macrae (It varies) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hidden In Plain Sight: The simple link between relativity and quantum mechanics (Kindle Edition)
"Hidden in Plain Sight" is an interesting read. In many years of reading popular science books, this is the first I think I can say (on these subjects) that I completely understood. As a non physicist and non-mathematician, this is not an endorsement of the argument, which I am unqualified to give, but it is an endorsement of the quality of explanation.

The central argument, that relativity and QM are actually much more alike than is generally thought - and that we would do better to concentrate on the similarities rather than being awestruck by the apparent oddities of both - seemed to me to make a lot of sense. That the book contains no mathematics is no drawback in my view, as I would be unlikely to benefit from it anyway.

The final verdict, of course, must come from those who do understand the mathematics and I would be interested to hear what actual physicists have to say about it. They may well say that the argument is dead wrong, or correct , but obvious. Yet if it is obvious, I do not recall encountering it elsewhere. "Plain sight" indeed.

At any rate, the book is eminently readable and well worth far more than the Kindle price.
If you are interested in a non-mathematical and rather unusual look at this subject, for less than the price of a bar of chocolate, I strongly advise you to give it a shot.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KISS principle in a nutshell., 9 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Hidden In Plain Sight: The simple link between relativity and quantum mechanics (Kindle Edition)
This is my second read of this fascinating book as I have just bought the sequel. I sincerely hope the author is correct in his "link" of the two main branches of physics.
I have read a few popular science books now and I must admit that some of the coverage of quantum physics I find confusing. While there are many vested interests in research, physicists must eat too, I sometimes feel that the approach taken i.e. top down, needs to be reassessed. This book does this concisely and with a hefty dose of what appears to me as common sense. Andrew Thomas can patently see the wood despite the trees and this book is an object lesson in looking at the big (universal) picture. The last science I did was over 40 years ago at school yet I found this book easy to read and follow and have no hesitation in recommending it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely interesting, clear and well written book, 18 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Hidden In Plain Sight: The simple link between relativity and quantum mechanics (Kindle Edition)
I have a degree in Physics and Philosophy and have kept up my reading in the area ever since I took my degree, so I am used to reading this kind of book. Most, even those written by really good mathematicians and physicists, tend to make elementary mistakes in exposition, for instance describing quantum mechanics in terms of things it cannot say - particularly about measurements on individual particles. This book is not like that at all. Its exposition is clear, deep and deadly accurate. I absolutely loved its demolition of the many worlds interpretation. I look forward with intense interest to the second volume in the summer of 2013.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This guy is either the next Galileo, or, merely a spectacularly clear writer., 12 Dec 2012
This review is from: Hidden In Plain Sight: The simple link between relativity and quantum mechanics (Kindle Edition)
First it's critical to realise that Andrew Thomas here is absolutely modest, and not in the slightest a nutcase.

You can be confident that _Hidden in plain sight_ has nothing at all of a crazy nature: Mr Thomas talks through his ideas with total modesty and discretion. Everything is presented as much as a surprise to himself as anyone else. There is no secret-revealed "they're all wrong!" conspiracy theory here, don't worry.

This is a totally mainstream book - theory - discussion if you will - that sits completely within the mainstream conventional fields of physics as they exist today.

Again - astoundingly - nothing in the book disagrees, at all, with the mainstream of quantum physics and relativity physics. It's "just" that it's all now explained.

The book does - indeed - just as advertised - offer what can only be called at the minimum a "staggeringly insightful" new - let us say reclarification of, or recasting of, the already obvious observations about, well, the universe that are laying in front of our eyes.

Where the heck did this Andrew Thomas spring from? Beats me, but I'm awfully glad he put down the explanation at hand in a book.

Really amazing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not convinced, 28 Feb 2013
By 
R. Ding - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hidden In Plain Sight: The simple link between relativity and quantum mechanics (Kindle Edition)
I am not a physicist, nor does the author presume that reader will be one. I was able to follow the argument presented but will need to go through it again. I'd like to hear what any expert in the fields of Relativity and Quantum mechanics thinks of the authors main thesis.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy not physics, 1 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Hidden In Plain Sight: The simple link between relativity and quantum mechanics (Kindle Edition)
The scientific advances of Newton and Einstein were based on essentially very simple ideas. Newton had his apple and Einstein rode on the edge of a beam of light. And from these simple ideas arose profound new understanding of our Universe.

Andrew Thomas makes a bold claim to a similarly incisive idea. He claims to reconcile the persistently inconsistent concepts of relativity and quantum mechanics with a simple bottom up approach to the construction of the Universe. Put simply, if one considers the basic idea that "The Universe contains everything and there is nothing outside the Universe" then everything we need can be developed from there.

The idea is interesting and he develops it well. But the thing about Newton and Einstein was that their simple ideas rapidly spawned some very strong and very predictive mathematics. Andrew's idea does not achieve this. Indeed it does not even re-invent any of the models we already have. None of the terms of the Standard Model are predicted and there is still no suggestion of how we may introduce gravity into that model.

What Andrew's concept does is offer a view of the Universe that makes relativity and quantum mechanics appear more natural and less fundamentally counter-intuitive than they normally appear.

I do not claim to go along with all of his arguments. For example, the idea that the Universe cannot sit in any external frame of dimensional reference (the Universe does not exist inside a box - how could it - nothing can be outside) requires that objects are separated from each other by something he calls a metric field. Okay, I sort of follow that idea. However this is then put forward as a justification of the gravitational field - the curved space-time defined (discovered?) by Einstein. I'm sorry, but that is too much of a leap for me.

"Hidden in Plain Sight" places itself in the genre of Popular Science. However I would suggest that it strays well into the philosophy camp and offers nothing new to physics. It definitely suggests nothing in how we may advance our experimentally tested view of the Universe. What it does do is present a view which may help some of us reconcile the un-reconcilable when struggling with the uncomfortable vision that modern physics promotes as reality.

A very readable book, but it is philosophy not physics.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars physics good philosophy bad!!, 15 April 2013
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G. williams - See all my reviews
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An interesting take on the decoherence response to the problem of measurement in quantum theory.Unfortunately the book is marred by a logical howler (p.27)
Thomas argues that a universe with nothing outside itself will lead to relativity being true ...relativity IS true therefore the universe has nothing outside it/is all there is.But this is a simple fallacy of reasoning called affirming the consequent.eg if it rains my car will get wet..my car is wet therefore it has rained!!??(my car may have just gone through the car wash etc)Thomas now uses this "finding" in almost all of his subsequent arguments to link quantum theory and relativity...oh dear!!
The book is still worth reading though...although his logic is fallacious his conclusion MAY still be right!!(but I doubt it)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The science could be quite wrong and readers will feel that they are being the subject of propaganda., 5 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Hidden In Plain Sight: The simple link between relativity and quantum mechanics (Kindle Edition)
Some good science but over half the writing is repetitous and argumentative. The central point is interesting but not followed up so as to be convincing.
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