Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: £5.49

Save £4.50 (45%)

includes VAT*
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality by [Tegmark, Max]
Kindle App Ad

Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
£5.49

Length: 403 pages Word Wise: Enabled

Kindle Books from 99p
Load up your Kindle library before your next holiday -- browse over 500 Kindle Books on sale from 99p until 31 August, 2016. Shop now

Product Description

Review

"Daring, Radical. Innovative. A game changer. If Dr. Tegmark is correct, this represent a paradigm shift in the relationship between physics and mathematics, forcing us to rewrite our textbooks. A must read for anyone deeply concerned about our universe." -Michio Kaku, author of "Physics of the Future"

"Tegmark offers a fresh and fascinating perspective on the fabric of physical reality and life itself. He helps us see ourselves in a cosmic context that highlights the grand opportunities for the future of life in our universe." -Ray Kurzweil, author of "The Singularity is Near"

""Our Mathematical Universe "boldly confronts one of the deepest questions at the fertile interface of physics and philosophy: why is mathematics so spectacularly successful at describing the cosmos? Through lively writing and wonderfully accessible explanations, Max Tegmark--one of the world's leading theoretical physicists--guides the reader to a possible answer, and reveals how, if it's right, our understanding of reality itself would be radically altered." -Brian Greene, physicist, author of "The Elegant Universe", "The Hidden Reality" and other books

""Our Mathematical Universe "boldly confronts one of the deepest questions at the fertile interface of physics and philosophy: why is mathematics so spectacularly successful at describing the cosmos? Through lively writing and wonderfully accessible explanations, Max Tegmark--one of the world's leading theoretical physicists--guides the reader to a possible answer, and reveals how, if it's right, our understanding of reality itself would be radically altered." -Brian Greene, physicist, author of "The Elegant Universe", "The Hidden Reality" and other books

"Daring, Radical. Innovative. A game changer. If Dr. Tegmark is correct, this represents a paradigm shift in the relationship between physics and mathematics, forcing us to rewrite our textbooks. A must read for anyone deeply concerned about our universe." -Michio Kaku, author of "Physics of the Future"

"Tegmark offers a fresh and fascinating perspective on the fabric of physical reality and life itself. He helps us see ourselves in a cosmic context that highlights the grand opportunities for the future of life in our universe." -Ray Kurzweil, author of "The Singularity is Near"

Brian Greene, physicist, author of "The Elegant Universe" and "The Hidden Reality
"""Our Mathematical Universe" boldly confronts one of the deepest questions at the fertile interface of physics and philosophy: why is mathematics so spectacularly successful at describing the cosmos? Through lively writing and wonderfully accessible explanations, Max Tegmark--one of the world's leading theoretical physicists--guides the reader to a possible answer, and reveals how, if it's right, our understanding of reality itself would be radically altered."
Michio Kaku, author of" Physics of the Future
""Daring, Radical. Innovative. A game changer. If Dr. Tegmark is correct, this represents a paradigm shift in the relationship between physics and mathematics, forcing us to rewrite our textbooks. A must read for anyone deeply concerned about our universe."
Ray Kurzweil, author of Th"e Singularity is Near
""Tegmark offers a fresh and fascinating perspective on the fabric of physical reality and life itself. He helps us see ourselves in a cosmic context that highlights the grand opportunities for the future of life in our universe."
Prof. Edward Witten, physicist, Fields Medalist & Milner Laureate
"Readers of varied backgrounds will enjoy this book. Almost anyone will find something to learn here, much to ponder, and perhaps something to disagree with."
Prof. Andrei Linde, physicist, Gruber & Milner Laureate for development of inflationary cosmology
"This inspirational book written by a true expert presents an explosive mixture of physics, mathematics and philosophy which may alter your views on reality."
Prof. Mario Livio, astrophysicist, author of Brilliant Blunders and "Is God a Mathematician?
""Galileo famously said that the universe is written in the language of mathematics. Now Max Tegmark says that the universe IS mathematics. You don't have to necessarily agree, to enjoy this fascinating journey into the nature of reali

"This is science writing at its best--dynamic, dramatic and accessible. . . . "Our Mathematical Universe" is nothing if not impressive. Brilliantly argued and beautifully written, it is never less than thought-provoking about the greatest mysteries of our existence." --Amir Alexander, "The New York Times
""Cosmologist Max Tegmark has written an engaging and accessible book, Our Mathematical Universe, that grapples with this multiverse scenario. He aims initially at the scientifically literate public, but seeks to take us to--and, indeed, beyond--the frontiers of accepted knowledge. . . . This is a valuable book, written in a deceptively simple style but not afraid to make significant demands on its readers, especially once the multiverse level gets turned up to four. It is impressive how far Tegmark can carry you until, like a cartoon character running off a cliff, you wonder whether there is anything holding you up."""--Andrew Liddle, " Nature
"Our Mathematical Universe" is a fascinating and well-executed dramatic argument from a talented expositor." --Peter Woit, The "Wall Street Journal
""An informative survey of exciting recent developments in astrophysics and quantum theory [...] Tegmark participated in some of these pioneering developments, and he enlivens his story with personal anecdotes. [...] Tegmark does an excellent job explaining this and other puzzles in a way accessible to nonspecialists. Packed with clever metaphors" --Edward Frenkel, "The New York Times Sunday Book Review
""The book is an excellent guide to recent developments in quantum cosmology and the ongoing debate over theories of parallel universes. . . . Perhaps this book is proof that the two personalities needed for science--the speculative and sceptic--can readily exist in one individual." --Mark Buchanan, "New Scientist

"""Our Mathematical Universe" boldly confronts one of the deepest questions at the fertile interface of physics and philosophy: why is mathematics so spectacularly successful at describing the cosmos? Through lively writing and wonderfully accessible explanations, Max Tegmark--one of the world's leading theoretical physicists--guides the reader to a possible answer, and reveals how, if it's right, our understanding of reality itself would be radically altered." --Brian Greene, physicist, author of "The Elegant Universe" and "The Hidden Reality
"
"Daring, Radical. Innovative. A game changer. If Dr. Tegmark is correct, this represents a paradigm shift in the relationship between physics and mathematics, forcing us to rewrite our textbooks. A must read for anyone deeply concerned about our universe." --Michio Kaku, author of" Physics of the Future
"
"Tegmark offers a fresh and fascinating perspective on the fabric of physical reality and life itself. He helps us see ourselves in a cosmic context that highlights the grand opportunities for the future of life in our universe." --Ray Kurzweil, author of Th"e Singularity is Near
"
""Our Mathematical Universe" is a delightful book in which the Swedish-born author, now at MIT, takes readers on a roller coaster ride through cosmology, quantum mechanics, parallel universes, sub-atomic particles and the future of humanity. It is quite an adventure with many time-outs along the way. . . . "Our Mathematical Universe" gives keen insight into someone who asks questions for the pure joy of answering them." --Stephen Hirtle, "The Pittsburg Post-Gazette"
"Readers of varied backgrounds will enjoy this book. Almost anyone will find something to learn here, much to ponder, and perhaps something to disagree with." --Prof. Edward Witten, physicist, Fields Medalist & Milner Laureate
"This inspirational book written by a true expert presents an explosive mixture of physics, mathematics and philosophy which may alter your views on reality." --Prof. Andrei Linde, physicist, Gruber & Milner Laureate for development of inflationary cosmology
"Galileo famously said that the universe is written in the language of mathematics. Now Max Tegmark says that the universe IS mathematics. You don't have to necessarily agree, to enjoy this fascinating journey into the nature of reality." --Prof. Mario Livio, astrophysicist, author of Brilliant Blunders and "Is God a Mathematician?"
"Scientists and lay aficionados alike will find Tegmark's book packed with information and very thought provoking. You may recoil from his thesis, but nearly every page will make you wish you could debate the issues face-to-face with him." --Prof. Julian Barbour, physicist, author of "The End of Time
"
"In "Our Mathematical Universe," renowned cosmologist Max Tegmark takes us on a whirlwind tour of the universe, past, present--and other. With lucid language and clear examples, Tegmark provides us with the master measure of not only of our cosmos, but of all possible universes. The universe may be lonely, but it is not alone." --Prof. Seth Lloyd, Professor of quantum mechanical engineering, MIT, author of Programming the Universe
"A lucid, engaging account of the various many-universes theories of fundamental physics that are currently being considered, from the multiverse of quantum theory to Tegmark's own grand vision." --Prof. David Deutsch, physicist, Dirac Laureate for pioneering quantum computing

"Tegmark offers a fascinating exploration of multiverse theories, each one offering new ways to explain 'quantum weirdness' and other mysteries that have plagued physicists, culminating in the idea that our physical world is 'a giant mathematical object' shaped by geometry and symmetry. Tegmark's writing is lucid, enthusiastic, and outright entertaining, a thoroughly accessible discussion leavened with anecdotes and the pure joy of a scientist at work." "--Publishers Weekly" (starred review)

"Lively and lucid, the narrative invites general readers into debates over computer models for brain function, over scientific explanations of consciousness, and over prospects for finding advanced life in other galaxies. Though he reflects soberly on the perils of nuclear war and of hostile artificial intelligence, Tegmark concludes with a bracingly upbeat call for scientifically minded activists who recognize a rare opportunity to make our special planet a force for cosmic progress. An exhilarating adventure for bold readers." --Bryce Cristensen, "Booklist" (starred review)

"Max Tegmark is a professor of physics at MIT and a leading expert on theories of the Universe. But he's also arguably the nearest we have to a successor to Richard Feynman, the bongo-playing, wise-cracking physicist who proved it is possible to be smart, savvy and subversive at the same time. [...] now Mad Max' has been given the freedom of an entire book. And he hasn't wasted it. Around half of it is a lucid tour d'horizon of what we know about the Universe. The rest is an exhilarating expedition far beyond conventional thinking, in search of the true meaning of reality. Don't be fooled: Tegmark is a very smart physicist, not a hand-waving philosopher, so the going gets tough in parts. But his insights and conclusions are staggering--and perhaps even crazy enough to be true." --Robert Matthews, "BBC Focus magazine "

"Just a few years ago, the idea of multiple universes was seen as a crackpot idea, not even on the margins of respectability. . . . But now, thanks in large part to Tegmark and his pursuit of controversial ideas, the concept of multiple universes (or a multiverse) is considered likely by many experts in the field. . . . Tegmark's clear, engaging prose style can take you down these exciting and unexpected pathways of thought without making you feel lost. . . . In "Our Mathematical Universe," we meet a revolutionary cosmology physicist who is hell bent on figuring out if that theory is true, how to prove it, how to use it, and what it means for the world as we know it." --Nathan Gelgud, "Biographile Nathan Gelgud, "Biographile ""

"Today multiple universes are scientifically respectable, thanks to the work of Tegmark as much as anyone. [...] Physics could do with more characters like Tegmark. He combines an imaginative intellect and a charismatic presence with a determination to promote his subject [...] enough will be comprehensible for non-scientific readers to enjoy an amazing ride through the rich landscape of contemporary cosmology. There are many interesting diversions from the main argument, from an assessment of threats to human civilisation (such as a 30 per cent risk of nuclear war) to the chance of intelligent life elsewhere in our galaxy (lower than astrobiologists like to think). Written in a lively and slightly quirky style, it should engage any reader interested in the infinite variety of nature." --Clive Cookson, "Financial Times"

"In "Our Mathematical Universe," Max Tegmark--a distinguished cosmologist--gives a lucid rundown of the current state of knowledge on the origin, present state, and fate of the universe(s). [...] It is immensely illuminating on the reach of current cosmological theories. [...] From time to time, Tegmark engagingly admits that such ideas sound like nonsense, but he makes the crucial point that if a theory makes good predictions you have to follow all of the consequences. [...] His concluding chapter on the risks humanity faces is wise and bracing: he believes we "are alone in our Universe" but are capable of tackling terrible threats from cosmic accidents, or self-induced nuclear or climatic catastrophes. He doesn't cite poets but his philosophy adds up to an updated 21st-century version of Thomas Hardy's 'If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.'" --Peter Forbes, "The Independent"
"[M]ind-bending book about the cosmos. . . . Tegmark's achievement is to explain what on earth he is talking about in language any reasonably attentive reader will understand. He is a professor at MIT, and clearly a fine teacher as well as thinker. He tackles the big, interrelated questions of cosmology and subatomic physics much more intelligibly than, say, Stephen Hawking." --Giles Whittell, "The Times"
"Max Tegmark's doorstopper of a book takes aim at three great puzzles: how large is reality? What is everything made of? Why is our universe the way it is? Tegmark, a professor of physics at MIT, writes at the cutting edge of cosmology and quantum theory in friendly and relaxed prose, full of entertaining anecdotes and down-to-earth analogies." --Brian Rotman, "The Guardian
"

This is science writing at its best dynamic, dramatic and accessible. . . ."Our Mathematical Universe" is nothing if not impressive. Brilliantly argued and beautifully written, it is neverless than thought-provoking about the greatest mysteries of our existence. Amir Alexander, "The New York Times
" Cosmologist Max Tegmark haswritten an engaging and accessible book, Our Mathematical Universe, that grapples with this multiverse scenario. He aims initially at the scientificallyliterate public, but seeks to take us to and, indeed, beyond the frontiers of accepted knowledge. . . .This is a valuable book, written in a deceptively simple style but not afraid to makesignificant demands on its readers, especially once the multiverse level gets turned up to four. It is impressive how far Tegmark can carry you until, likea cartoon character running off a cliff, you wonder whether there is anything holding you up. " " Andrew Liddle, "Nature
Our Mathematical Universe" is a fascinating and well-executed dramatic argument from a talented expositor. Peter Woit, The "WallStreet Journal
""An informative survey of exciting recent developments in astrophysics and quantum theory [...] Tegmark participated in some of thesepioneering developments, and he enlivens his story with personal anecdotes. [...] Tegmark does an excellent job explaining this andother puzzles in a way accessible to nonspecialists. Packed with clever metaphors Edward Frenkel, "The New York Times Sunday Book Review
" The book is an excellent guide to recent developments in quantum cosmology and the ongoing debate over theories of paralleluniverses. . . . Perhaps this book is proof that the two personalities needed for science the speculative and sceptic can readily existin one individual. Mark Buchanan, "New Scientist

" "Our Mathematical Universe"boldlyconfronts one of the deepest questions at the fertile interface of physics and philosophy: why is mathematics so spectacularly successful at describing the cosmos? Through lively writing and wonderfully accessible explanations, Max Tegmark one of the world s leading theoretical physicists guides the reader to a possible answer, and reveals how, if it s right, our understanding of reality itself would be radically altered. Brian Greene, physicist, author of"The Elegant Universe"and"The Hidden Reality
"
Daring, Radical. Innovative. A game changer. If Dr. Tegmark is correct, this represents a paradigm shift in the relationship between physics and mathematics, forcing us to rewrite our textbooks. A must read for anyone deeply concerned about our universe. Michio Kaku, author of"Physics of the Future
"
Tegmark offers a fresh and fascinating perspective on the fabric of physical reality and life itself. He helps us see ourselves in a cosmic context that highlights the grand opportunities for the future of life in our universe. Ray Kurzweil, author ofTh"e Singularity is Near
"
""Our Mathematical Universe"is a delightful book in which the Swedish-born author, now at MIT, takes readers on a roller coaster ride through cosmology, quantum mechanics, parallel universes, sub-atomicparticles and the future of humanity. It is quite an adventure with many time-outs along the way. . . . "OurMathematical Universe" gives keen insight into someone who asks questions for the pure joy of answering them." Stephen Hirtle, "The Pittsburg Post-Gazette"
Readers of varied backgrounds will enjoy this book. Almost anyone will find something to learn here, much to ponder, and perhaps something to disagree with. Prof. Edward Witten, physicist, Fields Medalist & Milner Laureate
This inspirational book written by a true expert presents an explosive mixture of physics, mathematics and philosophy which may alter your views on reality. Prof. Andrei Linde, physicist, Gruber & Milner Laureate for development of inflationary cosmology
Galileo famously said that the universe is written in the language of mathematics. Now Max Tegmark says that the universe IS mathematics. You don t have to necessarily agree, to enjoy this fascinating journey into the nature of reality. Prof. Mario Livio, astrophysicist, author ofBrilliant Blundersand"Is God a Mathematician?"
Scientists and lay aficionados alike will find Tegmark s book packed with information and very thought provoking. You may recoil from his thesis, but nearly every page will make you wish you could debate the issues face-to-face with him. Prof. Julian Barbour, physicist, author of"The End of Time
"
In "Our Mathematical Universe," renowned cosmologist Max Tegmark takes us on a whirlwind tour of the universe, past, present and other. With lucid language and clear examples, Tegmark provides us with the master measure of not only of our cosmos, but of all possible universes. The universe may be lonely, but it is not alone. Prof. Seth Lloyd, Professor of quantum mechanical engineering, MIT, author ofProgramming the Universe
A lucid, engaging account of the various many-universes theories of fundamental physics that are currently being considered, from the multiverse of quantum theory to Tegmark s own grand vision. Prof. David Deutsch, physicist, Dirac Laureate for pioneering quantum computing

Tegmark offers a fascinating exploration of multiverse theories, each one offering new ways to explain quantum weirdness and other mysteries that have plagued physicists, culminating in the idea that our physical world is a giant mathematical object shaped by geometry and symmetry. Tegmark s writing is lucid, enthusiastic, and outright entertaining, a thoroughly accessible discussion leavened with anecdotes and the pure joy of a scientist at work. " Publishers Weekly"(starred review)

Lively and lucid, the narrative invites general readers into debates over computer models for brain function, over scientific explanations of consciousness, and over prospects for finding advanced life in other galaxies. Though he reflects soberly on the perils of nuclear war and of hostile artificial intelligence, Tegmark concludes with a bracingly upbeat call for scientifically minded activists who recognize a rare opportunity to make our special planet a force for cosmic progress. An exhilarating adventure for bold readers. Bryce Cristensen, "Booklist"(starred review)

Max Tegmark isa professor of physics at MIT and a leading expert on theories of the Universe. But he s also arguably the nearest wehave to a successor to Richard Feynman, the bongo-playing, wise-cracking physicist who proved it is possible to be smart, savvy and subversive at thesame time. [ ]now Mad Max has been given the freedom of an entire book. And he hasn't wasted it. Around half of it is alucid tour d'horizon of what we know about the Universe. The rest is an exhilarating expedition far beyond conventional thinking, in search of the truemeaning of reality. Don't be fooled: Tegmark is a very smart physicist, not a hand-waving philosopher, so the going gets tough in parts. But his insightsand conclusions are staggering and perhaps even crazy enough to be true. Robert Matthews, "BBC Focus magazine"

Just a few years ago, the idea ofmultiple universes was seen as a crackpot idea, not even on the margins of respectability. . . . But now, thanks in large part toTegmark and his pursuit of controversial ideas, the concept of multiple universes (or a multiverse) is considered likely by many experts in the field. . . . Tegmark's clear, engaging prose style can take you down these exciting andunexpected pathways of thought without making you feel lost. . . .In "Our Mathematical Universe," we meet a revolutionary cosmology physicist who ishell bent on figuring out if that theory is true, how to prove it, how to use it, and what it means for the world as we know it. Nathan Gelgud, "Biographile Nathan Gelgud, "Biographile""

Today multiple universes arescientifically respectable, thanks to the work of Tegmark as much as anyone. [...] Physics could do with more characters like Tegmark. He combines animaginative intellect and a charismatic presence with a determination to promote his subject [...] enough will be comprehensible for non-scientificreaders to enjoy an amazing ride through the rich landscape of contemporary cosmology. There are many interesting diversions from the mainargument, from an assessment of threats to human civilisation (such as a 30 per cent risk of nuclear war) to the chance of intelligent life elsewhere inour galaxy (lower than astrobiologists like to think). Written in a lively and slightly quirky style, it should engage any reader interested in the infinitevariety of nature. Clive Cookson, "Financial Times"

"In "Our Mathematical Universe," Max Tegmark a distinguished cosmologist gives a lucid rundown ofthe current state of knowledge on the origin, present state, and fate of the universe(s). [...] It is immenselyilluminating on the reach of current cosmological theories. [...] From time to time, Tegmark engagingly admits thatsuch ideas sound like nonsense, but he makes the crucial point that if a theory makes good predictions you haveto follow all of the consequences. [...] His concluding chapter on the risks humanity faces is wise and bracing: hebelieves we "are alone in our Universe" but are capable of tackling terrible threats from cosmic accidents, or self-induced nuclear or climatic catastrophes. He doesn t cite poets but his philosophy adds up to an updated 21st-century version of Thomas Hardy's 'If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.'" PeterForbes, "The Independent"
[M]ind-bending book about the cosmos. . . . Tegmark's achievement is to explain what on earth he is talkingabout in language any reasonably attentive reader will understand. He is a professor at MIT, and clearly a fineteacher as well as thinker. He tackles the big, interrelated questions of cosmology and subatomic physics muchmore intelligibly than, say, Stephen Hawking." Giles Whittell, "The Times"
"Max Tegmark's doorstopper of a book takes aim at three great puzzles: how large is reality? What is everythingmade of? Why is our universe the way it is? Tegmark, a professor of physics at MIT, writes at the cutting edge ofcosmology and quantum theory in friendly and relaxed prose, full of entertaining anecdotes and down-to-earthanalogies." Brian Rotman, "The Guardian
""

About the Author

Max Tegmark is author or coauthor of more than two hundred technical papers, twelve of which have been cited more than five hundred times. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a physics professor at MIT.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 8164 KB
  • Print Length: 403 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846144760
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846144769
  • ASIN: B00H4MVYSO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,940 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I find myself in the strange position of awarding five stars to a book that has plenty of content with which I disagree. The detail of that will come up later, but the reason that I can still confidently give this book five stars is that it is a great read, covers some less controversial aspects of physics and cosmology very well and where Max Tegmark strays into concepts that many don't accept, he does so in a way that really makes you think, and analyse just why these concepts seem so unlikely - which is great.

The book is an exploration of the development of Tegmark's leading edge (or wacky, depending on your point of view) ideas - I should stress, though, whether or not he's right, Tegmark is a respected physicist, not a random person with no knowledge to back up his ideas. The book includes an excellent pass through the development of the current hot big bang with inflation theory that it would be worth buying for without the rest. In his introduction, Tegmark says that regular popular science readers might want to skip these first few chapters, but I really recommend that you don't - for instance, he gives the best explanation and exploration of the concept of inflation I've ever seen in a popular science book. It's superb.

From then on, though I don't necessarily accept what Tegmark has to say, he gives a very engaging picture of the way that the concept of eternal inflation could produce a multiverse with a infinite collection of big bangs, each producing their own universe, an impassioned plea for the many worlds interpretation of quantum theory and a really impressive attempt to persuade us that the universe isn't just described by mathematics, but is fundamentally mathematical at its heart.

To be honest, you can stop there and go and buy it if you like.
Read more ›
Comment 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
Do you enjoy great detective puzzles? Do you like noticing small anomalies, and turning them into clues to an unexpected explanation? Do you like watching world-class scientists at work, piecing together insights to create new theories, and coping with disappointments when their theories appear to be disproved?

In the book “Our mathematical universe”, the mysteries being addressed are some of the very biggest imaginable:
*) What is everything made out of?
*) Where does the universe come from? For example, what made the Big Bang go “bang”?
*) What gives science its authority to speak with so much confidence about matters such as the age and size of the universe?
*) Is it true that the constants of nature appear remarkably “fine-tuned” so as to allow the emergence of life – in a way suggesting a miracle?
*) What does modern physics (including quantum mechanics) have to teach us about mind and consciousness?
*) What are the chances of other intelligent life existing in our galaxy (or even elsewhere in our universe)?
*) What lies in the future of the human race?

The author, Max Tegmark, is a Swedish-born professor of physics at MIT. He’s made a host of significant contributions to the development of cosmology – some of which you can read about in the book. But in his book, he also shows himself in my view to be a first class philosopher and a first class communicator.

Indeed, this may be the best book on the philosophy of physics that I have ever read. It also has important implications for the future of humanity.

There are some very big ideas in the book. It gives reasons for believing that our universe exists alongside no fewer than four different types of parallel universes.
Read more ›
18 Comments 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The first part of this book tells the story of long ago and of the very small in the manner of a detective story. Tegmark tells us what needs explaining - what we can all observe or what scientists cab on serve - and how successively strong theories have pushed our knowledge forward. Clearly the field has made great progress since I last reed about these things and I find it hard to praise this part of the book too strongly - it was a gripping read for someone who knows as little as I did and left me feeling I understood the Big Bang, inflation, quantum physics and so on - which I found quite remarkable.

In the second part of the book Tegmark turns more philosophical. He sets out the view first that all properties of the world are mathematical properties. And the view that every mathematical possibility is a reality in some possible universe. I was left thinking this might be true or then again it might not. What I also felt was that there are very serious philosophical implications of the interpretation of quantum physics that Tegmark argues for - persuasively. If all the things that might happen to me do happen to me - in some world - and the question is simply 'what world am I in?' This might seem to raise some quite serious philosophical issues about the nature of the self. Not issues that grip Tegmark though...indexicals - I, here and now and so on - seem particularly worth thinking about further. I also wonder whether theories like natural selection through evolution hood is some of Tegmark's possible worlds but not others....

So I felt the first part of the book was great but the second part is less interesting...
1 Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
click to open popover