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Who would have thought a series of essays written by multiple scientific experts could have been as spell tingling as this book was? I know I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. Part of the reason this book works so well is because none of the essays are that recent. We've learned a lot in the past two years for which the authors with their wild speculations at the time were not aware of.
Two things the current reader should be aware of before listening to these essays. 1) The Higgs Boson is real and is at 125 Giga Electron Volts which is half way between the string theorist wanted (115 GeV) and what the multi-universe supporters expected (144 GeV), and 2) Gravitational waves have probably been found and if that is true Inflation Theory has more support than the authors of the essays realized at the time.
For most of the essayists, I've read their books for which they are going to write or have written at the time they wrote the essays. The essays cover the subject matter of their books fairly well, and you can save yourself from reading 25 or so books by listening to these essays. (The one exception is the essay by David Deutsch. He's talking about something beyond anything in his books).
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
Not written for laymen, but as physicist to physicist, this book outlines the future direction of physics—on both the subatomic and cosmological scales.
This is the kind of book that makes you want to live long enough to find out the answers to the fundamental questions that contemporary physicists are asking right now.
There's nothing "dumbed-down" about this book, and the topics are wide-ranging and fascinating. I won't claim to understand all of it, but that doesn't matter—it's really, really interesting, and well put together. We owe John Brockman a debt of gratitude for compiling this wonderful collection of perspectives on modern physics.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Rather than getting you interested in the topics, many of the chapters just seem to be arguing that the author is right and oh so clever. I don't want to listen to self promotion.
Talk about your subject well enough and with passion and the audience is bound to see that on their own.
There are some very good chapters worth listening to, and some of the more author-centric ones have interesting ideas if you can disregard the childlish he-said-she-said, name dropping and validation seeking.