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Amazing that we think we almost know it all
on 28 December 2016
This book has the capacity to amaze – on two levels. First, at the complexity and elegance of the universe; secondly, at man's confidence over centuries, always thinking that his latest set of theories has given him almost complete understanding of our amazing universe.
New readings and new theories over the last fifty years or so have taken this always changing almost complete understanding beyond the reach of the ordinary man. Here, a valiant attempt is made to simplify matters by using examples of moving trains and bouncing balls, but the basic concepts are difficult. Particularly when there is still so much we don't know, about infinity and relativity, the shape of time and space, the basic components of the universe – and their behaviour.
And of course, all current theories are based on measurements and extrapolations taken over a mere few decades in our one tiny corner of the universe. But that doesn't dent the confidence of the authors, who reckon we have an almost complete understanding of the universe and our place in it. Just like Newton, Galileo, Aristotle and the rest.
If you want to know about strings, waves, particles, black holes and the rest, this will certainly help. Or you could read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where the answer to the ultimate question is much more simple – if somewhat enigmatic.