The specific ideas she describes in some detail are: 1. At one point Randall writes: Other branes might be parallel to ours and might house parallel worlds. But many other types of braneworld might exist too. Branes could intersect and particles could be trapped at the intersections.
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Oct 22, Mike rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Anyone A few weeks ago I came across an interesting blurb about Ms. 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 mids. 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. From there the book continues with the 20th century revolutions that re-wrote all of the rules: Special Relativity, General Relativity, Quantum Theory aka Quantum Mechanics and the Uncertainty Principle.
Along with these "basics", the discovery of the essential building blocks of the universe are covered. First the "basic" items: electrons, photons, protons, neutrons are discussed, then the "sub-particles" which were found as "atom-smashers" gained power and sensitivity: the weak gauge bosons, the quarks, the neutrino.
But the book does. So, why am I so positive about this book? I think that Ms. Randall has written some of the best summaries and explanations of the core elements of particle physics for the past half-century. Her coverage of the Standard Model, Symmetry, Supersymmetry, Strings, Branes and dimensionality are probably the best that I have ever read for non-physicists. Not only are the presentations clear and meaningful, but she allows readers to pass over sections that contain important information which does not directly impact the main direction of the book which is using extra dimensions and branes.
I did read all of the sections. I also read all of the odd math notes, which is where she placed anything that might have derailed someone who only cared about the "gist" of the topic. Overall, I think the author and editor s did a great job in organizing the material for a readership of many interest levels. You can stop reading here and take away my recommendation that you read this excellent book on how the universe may work.
Or, you can read the next section where I give a few more details while trying to solve a small conundrum. But, read this book no matter which you decide. Although I have not read any other reviews, I did notice that "Warped Passages" has an overall ranking that is lower than I expected. First, the author writes in her own "voice" rather than a dispassionate, omnipotent, narrator. She is a physicist and one whose work centers on the current material of this book. As such she describes many first-hand events and impressions; perhaps these are beyond the expectations of some readers.
Secondly, and in a similar vein, she created little "stories" to illustrate the concepts that are presented in each chapter. For the most part the stories are "standalones" although they use a recurring cast of characters , but in some of the later chapters she deliberately refers back or explains what point or concept the story was designed to explain.
Other readers may have felt this was annoying or offensive. Thirdly, the author writes in more topical references than another author might, or another reader might prefer. Again, for myself these were neither offensive nor irritating, but not everyone may be as amused as I was by a few little left-leaning comments.
Does this matter? I think it does. To put it in perspective, the author is a notable, practicing physicist and this is her book.
Warped Passages Quotes