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Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  5,097 ratings  ·  212 reviews
The universe has many secrets. It may hide additional dimensions of space other than the familier three we recognize. There might even be another universe adjacent to ours, invisible and unattainable . . . for now.

Warped Passages is a brilliantly readable and altogether exhilarating journey that tracks the arc of discovery from early twentieth-century physics to the razor'
Paperback, 512 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by Ecco (first published 2005)
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Manuel Antão
Oct 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2006
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

SR: "Warped Passages - Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions" by Lisa Randall

(original review, 2006)

Hi,I am poor English Portuguese who live in very countly side.
We need a Portuguese translate better and I have a Questions.
The some day I had did so tough-Job.After that small-black-holl shown up and it had moved and mice and soft membrance?
Not a elephant,mice or small birds,didn’t swallow house and many zone and a
Nov 24, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
I reviewed this once before and a tecnical snafu ate it when I tried to up load it...

This book is dreadful: here are the many reasons why:

The material is disorganised. The book is ostensibly about extra spatial dimensions. The concepts are introduced in the first few chapters then don't re-appear until the last few chapters. The Standard Model is introduced twice.

The explanations are poor and sometimes wrong. The section on the Pauli Principle is riddled with errors and omissions that should emb
Lewis Weinstein
Oct 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
I was excited to buy this book, and looked forward to learning something useful about new science. But I thought it was horrible. The explanations are unreadable. The preface was even less comprehensible. BTW, I have an engineering degree and was the CEO of a scientific research institute for 14 years. I think I am capable of reading a lay book about science. I got nothing from this one.
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
this rating is much more a reflection on me than randall's writing.

she wrote about complex theories in quantum physics and string theory in probably the most accessible manner possible. but my brain isnt great at grasping such notions so that is on me.

Randall starts each chapter with a parable fairy story to illustrate the ideas discussed in that chapter and finishes with a bulleted synopsis of what she wrote.

all in all this is a physics book for non physicists.
Koen Crolla
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics
People make too much of condescension in science writers; I've seen several reviews now praise Randall for not being condescending or patronising, possibly because Randall herself mentions that she wrote the book because so many others struck her as being patronising or condescending and professional reviewers are usually journalists and journalists are lazy hacks.
In actual fact, any work of popular science, particularly in the field of physics, is going to be condescending in places by necessit
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
A few weeks ago I came across an interesting blurb about Ms. Randall's latest book. Since I was unfamiliar with her or any prior books (one was mentioned in the write up), I did some cursory digging and found that she had written her first book in the mid-2000s. Because I wanted to be "fair" before reading the just-published book, I felt obligated to read the earlier one. Now that was a gigantic mistake! (Not the reading, just the "obligated" part.)

"Warped Passages" is a superbly written book by
Apr 06, 2008 rated it liked it
If you love particle physics you'll probably love this book.

The first and last fourths of the book were really interesting and mostly about new theories in particle physics.

The middle half of the book slogs through a brief history of particle physics, string theory, and multiple dimensions.

She employs a few odd tools. Most chapters begin with an Alice in Wonderland like story that is meant to demonstrate the concept to be discussed. Some readers may find it witty and amusing but I found it dist
Lisa Randall is one of my favorite scientists. Her research is amazing. I highly recommend this book as well as watching her lectures online. The lectures (some 5 hours in length) help solidify the information in this book. I can't wait to see where this research leads. I have always been excited to learn about dimensions. I hope I live long enough to see the how the work of Randall and others affects our understanding or branes and the forces attached to them. ...more
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Is gravity weaker than other three forces? A solution to the hierarchy problem in physics

Gravity is the weakest forces of all the four forces of our universe, because, according to the author, it is concentrated in another spatial dimension of the universe, and these extra dimensions could be infinitely large. The summary of this book is as follows: We live in a three-dimensional pocket of higher dimensional space, also called branes. It is like a bead on a wire that can only move along one dime
Jim Good
Dec 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Most of the book is a set up for the last couple chapters, by giving a history and accounting of the Standard Model of Quantum Mechanics and some baseline information on string theory. The last couple chapters deal with theories of extra dimensions and how they might be perceived and detected. Most extra dimensional theories have finite or small scaled that wrap back on themselves. She puts forth a theory of potentially infinite but warped extra dimensions and how those would manifest. Also much ...more
Cyndie Courtney
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Cyndie by: Stephen P. Johnson Sr.
Shelves: own, non-fiction
I won't begin to pretend that I completely wrapped my mind around everything in this book. It definitely peaked by curiosity and I am intrigued to learn more, but this is no "particle physics for dummies". Some fascinating concepts contained within. Definitely helped open my eyes to some of the crazier aspects of our world. ...more
Richard Seltzer
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
On the plus side, this book will expand your understanding of the concept of "dimension". It also has clear explanations of developments in physics in the days of Einstein and the early stages quantum theory. Above all it gives you a sense of physics as a living, growing, very human endeavor -- a constant challenge, a source of one fascinating puzzle after another, requiring creativity and ingenuity to simply imagine all that might be possible. Half the book deals with theories that have not yet ...more
Feb 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
I really had my hopes up for Warped Passages after reading Brian Greene’s Hidden Reality. Not because I enjoyed that book so much, but because it so thoroughly confused and frustrated me that I just assumed another book would do a better job of explaining the wonderful world of hidden dimensions.

Unfortunately, Lisa Randall’s Warped Passages is no better. Just like Hidden Reality, Warped Passages starts out well enough by explaining some basics about quantum physics but then very quickly snowball
Karl Nehring
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Through the early pages of the book, Dr. Randall's writing style drove me nearly crazy, but as I continued to read, either she started to get her bearings or else I got more used to it. In any event, I found this a fascinating book. Technically it is very challenging -- I am not going to pretend that I truly grasped most of what she was writing about; however, I was able, at least at some level, to follow the story she was telling, and that was a welcome sort of challenge. I enjoyed this book en ...more
Brandy Cross
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Warped Passageways is a bit of an oddity. On the one hand it’s comprised of fairly in-depth science, on the other hand it’s poorly written and the work could have greatly benefited from simply removing many of her explanations. In addition, the book additionally suffers from the inclusion of very poor attempts at analogous storytelling at the front of every chapter, where a fictional setting is loosely linked to the premise being explained in the chapter, and sometimes very sloppily giving the r ...more
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Standard Model of particle physics is the most successful scientific theory ever produced. It's capable of making predictions that turn out to be incredibly accurate, down to many decimal places. It's produced surprising predictions that turn out to be true. The discovery of the Higgs boson a few years ago cemented in the capstone of its success. But it also has a massive, gaping hole in the middle of it, a flaw that has consumed the efforts of several generations of physicists and continues ...more
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Randall focuses on the hierarchy problem and the speculative theories that try to solve it, including string theory, branes, extra dimensions.
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Sort of hard to follow, and confusing. However, I read it as a highschool AP chemistry student and it very well explained quantum mechanics and various other physics theories in a sort of simplistic way.

Unsure if I'd recommend but I would definitely reread it to see if my understanding changes.
B. Factor
Jun 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
Chock full of misleading analogies, painful allegories, and irrelevant material cut-and-pasted from other failed writing projects.
As is the case with most books on more or less contemporary theoretical physics, this one gives me the impression that I understand it … until I turn a page. Then, all too yearling, the moonbeams saturate field mice with gas masks and did you ever blibbit? Rikkul fiorg, either! Soon enough, die Korridore de mon esprit становиться カオスTaka 土地 of cose welke 似乎是正确的 but may merely bele des faux friends. I wish I had made a count of the number of times “IF” is used in this book. While reading, I found ...more
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Best description of alternate physics dimensions.
Chris Lynch
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Every now and then a man's mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions." (O.W. Holmes, Sr. 1858)

Holmes would, I think, have agreed that this book is a provider of such mind-stretching ideas. Here you'll find an excellent discussion of some of the more radical new ideas from the model-building camp of theoretical physics. Taking ideas of higher dimensions and branes borrowed from string theory, Prof. Randall and co-researchers have produced inter
Yevgeniy Brikman
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is an overview of modern particle physics (as of 2005) and a surprisingly deep look at how the universe works at the sub-atomic level. There are no equations or calculations, but you get far more technical detail here than a typical pop science book. While some parts are hard to follow, other parts are astonishingly well written, explaining incredibly complicated physical concepts through wonderful analogies. It's not easy reading, but it's worth the effort, as this book helps you real ...more
Gavin Smith
I didn't find this book as irritating as some others around here seem to have found it. I can definitely, however, agree with the most common criticisms. The whole book suffers from a bloat borne of repetition and very odd, distracting analogies. Very, very often the same information is repeated several times, seemingly building to some greater point, only for the chapter to end with a bullet point summary of those same, repeated points. And about those analogies, I cannot recall one of them tha ...more
It can be difficult to try and explain abstract theoretical physics concepts with just analogies and no equations, but Randall does a reasonably good job of describing the main points of interest and research in her field. Some of the analogies miss the mark and the attempted conference-style humor throughout, including the little fictional narrative sections at the start of each chapter, is a little awkward, but overall I came away having learned something about string theory, extra dimensions, ...more
Jan 17, 2009 rated it did not like it
I thought this book, particularly when compared to, say, Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe, continually fell short of its ambitions. It's prose is only adequate and often misestimates the lay reader's level of understanding. I also found it annoying for its frequent injection of self-promotion. I can well understand that Randall might have much to say about being female and a physicist, but there is a kind of thinly-hidden effort to impress us as a kind of uber-babe, a rock climbing, equation ...more
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I know I won't be able to truly understand quantum mechanics and particle physics until I sit down and learn the math somehow...but I thought Lisa Randall did an amazing job trying. I caught glimpses of our invisible world of virtual particles, gluons, squarks, 5th dimensions and branes.

My world has been rocked. Nuff said.
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Randall's writing is difficult to follow, and she uses lackluster devices to create muddled visions of her examples. The theories were interesting, but getting to them was the hardest part. ...more
Tom Schulte
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Lisa Randall is my new hero. A bright, intelligent woman dominating a field mostly populated with men and taking time out to popularize the esoteric musings of theoretical physics for the rest of us.
Rodney Harvill
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics
At one point while I was reading this book (Kindle version), an acquaintance noticed me reading and asked me what I was reading. Knowing that I am a prolific reader, he commented on how normal it was to see me reading and asked me what I was reading. So, I told him that the book was about particle physics, quantum mechanics and string theory. He immediately said, “Enjoy your book!” and walked away. While my characterization of this book to him was somewhat accurate, it was also an over-simplific ...more
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LISA RANDALL is Professor of Physics at Harvard University. She began her physics career at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. She was a finalist, and tied for first place, in the National Westinghouse Science Talent Search. She went on to Harvard where she earned the BS (1983) and PhD (1987) in physics. She was a President's Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, a postdoctoral ...more

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