Three Roads To Quantum Gravity (Science Masters)
It's more difficult still given some of the contradictions and inconsistencies that obtain between quantum theory, which "was invented to explain why atoms are stable and do not...more
This book isn't too bad but I don't think I retain much. the feline analogy and cosmological evolution are cute ideas, and the black hole stuff is fascinating. but much of it is extremely speculative and cryptic rambling. Or maybe I just get more cynical of theoretical physics day by day. That's fine, and at least Lee Smolin acknowledges that it is speculative, but at least don't be so incredibly ...more
When he wrote this book, around 1999, I think he was more part of the mainstream. He presents several different approaches to the very difficult problem of unifying gravity and quantum mechanics. It's clear that his heart belongs to ...more
Since the postulation of theory of relativity (theory of cosmos, which describes the structure of space and time), and quantum mechanics (laws of microcosm, which describes atomic structure, nuclear forces, and nature of basic component of matter); physicists until now have struggled to explain gravity (which is a manifestation of spacetime fabric in presence of matter) in terms of quantum mechanics (quantum gravity). In this book the author attempts to exp ...more
I found this work to be brilliant and very thought-provoking and would highly recommend it to anyone w ...more
Smolin starts out string, the first few chapters regarding "why we don't ask what's outside the universe" and "why classical logic is unsuitable for cosmology (and real life)" were really great. As you make it further into the book things fall apart a littl ...more
I think this one is better by far than Gre ...more
"...the first principle of cosmology must be 'There is nothing outside the universe' . . . This first principle means that we take the universe to be, by definition, a closed system. It means that the explanation for anything in the universe can involve only other things that also exist in the universe . . . ...more
"Three Roads to Quantum Gravity" is Smolin's briefing to the p ...more
"The Holy Grail of modern physics is the theory of 'quantum gravity'. It is a search for a view of the Universe that unites two seemingly opposed pillars of modern science..." et cetera. Let's unpack these two sentences. The first mentions the Holy Grail, which I think is not the right analogy for a mathematical description of spacetime. I seem to remember the Holy Grail as the one identified by In ...more
"We shall have the basic framework of the quantum theory of gravity by 2010, 2015 at the outside.", he says on the last page.
The book was published in 2001. We're in 2014 and we're still nowhere near a solution. Although he hints in Time Reborn that we need a new descriptive language for a unifying theory of gravity which ought to have non-mathematical tools and which must include time as a fundamental building block.
but thank the lord most of the ...more
The author gives a very solid and understandable overview of the main avenues o ...more
Still, Smolin does give very detailed explanations for the different versions of String Theory, Loop Quantum Gr ...more
I passed it along to some Christian friends who enjoy advanced science - you might think that a book of superb science, founded in relativity ...more
My favorite bit is from the last chapter:
"We shall have the basic framework of the quantum theory of gravity by 2010, 2015 at the outside."
But then again, I'm not a physicist so I am probably not the best person to judge.