The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe

The Road to Reality A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe Roger Penrose one of the most accomplished scientists of our time presents the only comprehensive and comprehensible account of the physics of the universe From the very first attempts by the Greeks

  • Title: The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe
  • Author: Roger Penrose
  • ISBN: 9780679776314
  • Page: 299
  • Format: Paperback
  • Roger Penrose, one of the most accomplished scientists of our time, presents the only comprehensive and comprehensible account of the physics of the universe From the very first attempts by the Greeks to grapple with the complexities of our known world to the latest application of infinity in physics, The Road to Reality carefully explores the movement of the smallest atoRoger Penrose, one of the most accomplished scientists of our time, presents the only comprehensive and comprehensible account of the physics of the universe From the very first attempts by the Greeks to grapple with the complexities of our known world to the latest application of infinity in physics, The Road to Reality carefully explores the movement of the smallest atomic particles and reaches into the vastness of intergalactic space Here, Penrose examines the mathematical foundations of the physical universe, exposing the underlying beauty of physics and giving us one the most important works in modern science writing.

    195 Comment

    • Manny says:

      Many of my all-time favourite books make the list because they show you what it's like to be inside the mind of an extraordinary person. While you're reading them, Churchill's History of the Second World War and Yourcenar's Mémoires d'Hadrien let you be a great statesman at a pivotal moment in history. Simone de Beauvoir's autobiography, more than any other book I know, gives you the feeling of being a major literary figure. Polugayevsky's Grandmaster Preparation, which many chessplayers treat [...]

    • Robert says:

      Dave Langford, SF&F critic and reviewer, in his long-since defunct column for White Dwarf magazine, once said that, "There is a tendency to over-praise big books simply because one has got through them." I agree that this tendency exists but note that Langford gave no reason for it. I think the reason is more or less macho intellectual pride; look at me! I read this honking great saga! It must be great or I'd have to admit wasting my time! And I need to show off my intellectual credentials! [...]

    • WarpDrive says:

      I am finished, finally. All the 1050+ pages of this ambitious behemoth - including many exercises. What a ride! Finished? Well you are never finished with such a book, titled “The road to reality” but actually providing more than that: providing nothing less than a “road-map” to reality, and opening to the reader new beautiful vistas in modern mathematics and physics. I am sure that I will come back to this book in the future, as a source of inspiration and for future reference.Before I [...]

    • Sanjay Gautam says:

      Its the greatest science book ever written in the whole world, since the beginning of the time. Its certainly not popular science, its hardcore science and maths, written for general audience.

    • Cassandra Kay Silva says:

      Penrose, Penrose, Penrose. Oh how I LONG to know thee. I am becoming minorly obsessed with you and your work. I am pacing for crying out loud. I am running myself in circles. Opening, closing, referencing, coming back, straining my eyes as if that will make me see the world that you do. Why do you elude me so? Why does your tongue speak as if attached to the left temporal lobe itself? I catch glimpses of this reality you see. I feel myself drawn to it in longing for truth and understanding. For [...]

    • Nick Black says:

      Penrose came to GT and gave an open lecture on cosmic parameters and cosmological arguments from the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (chapter 27 in this book, one of the most ambitious and impressive -- if incomplete, a bit uneven, and just as taxing as you've heard -- catechisms I've ever read), and a closed lecture on twistor theory (chapter 33), and signed my copy! w00t! I shook Sir Roger's hand as trillions of neutrinos passed through us both, completely undetected, our entangled R-type state evol [...]

    • DJ says:

      I have a suspicion that Penrose hasn't spoken to a undergraduate in 30 years. His notion of "introductory material" is not just wrong, its downright strange.The famed mathematician devotes several pages to discussing the addition of fractions then breezes through holomorphic functions and Reimann spheres.I'll return to this book in a year or two when I have the mathematical background to qualify as a "non-mathematician."

    • Hadrian says:

      A feast for any physicist, or anyone who wants to learn the depth and beauty of physics, etc. as we know it. Not dumbed down at all. Throws every subject imaginable at you. If you can understand it, this book is truly amazing.EDIT: I have recently learned in a conversation at uni that there are some controversies with the book and orthodox physics, most notably in the areas of string theory, Penrose's idea of twistors and the idea of more than 4 dimensions. However - considering how much else th [...]

    • notgettingenough says:

      So we had a physicist around to dinner the other day and thrust this at him. I can't call T---- by his real name, let's just say he rhymes with a dip made with chickpeas and tahini. The reason I can't call him by his real name is that he works at a place that starts with C and rhymes with a complete lack of humour. He likes his job, I don't want to get him sacked for reading Penrose.He flicks through it and the first thing I note is that physicists take about 5 nanoseconds to read what it takes [...]

    • Ezra says:

      this book RULES. it is a sort of primer on the mathematics required to really understand quantum physics. of course, that is a pretty huge pile of stuff, and this is a damn huge book. it moves faaast too: the entire theoretical foundations of single-variable calculus takes up one chapter. the reader is rapidly pulled through pretty heavy cram sessions in multivariable calculus, algebraic topology, real analysis everything you need! and yet, it does not feel at all dense, because roger penrose is [...]

    • Squatting Erudite says:

      wow I actually managed to read it, 1050 pages, every single one of them.But can I really say that I'm done with this book? I don't think so Although it took me a year and a half to read it, I didn't even understand a significant part of it. Since I'm a physics student I understood most of it on some very basic level, but I'm pretty sure I'll have to open this book again and again to take a peek at some of the awesome ideas put here by Penrose.Did I say awesome? That's a huge understatement. I me [...]

    • Brian says:

      Amazing. While I can not exactly call Road to Reality a popularization of general relativity and quantum theory, it is a peerless introduction to and review of those topics. I have a PhD in mathematics, and studied physics and math as an undergraduate, and there was plenty for me to learn from this book. There are very few people in the world who would not learn much from reading it.Many years ago, I read Penrose's Emporer's New Mind which was good as far as it went, but earned my derision with [...]

    • Tatiana says:

      This book is too sprawling to wait and review all at once at the end, so I've decided to do it little by little as I go along.I thought the prologue sucked, but immediately after that it became deeply fascinating, so don't get discouraged. I guess I should say why I hated it, though. It seemed as though he was judging former times and societies through a "presentist" lens, as though all people have always and only been scientists since the start of time, only they were really bad at it back then [...]

    • Fahad says:

      هناك كتب تتمنى لو أنها كتبت، وهناك كتب لم يدر في خلدك أن تؤلف قط!وإني لما قرأته أكبرته ثم أكبرته حتى أكبرته ثلاثا. هذا الجامع النافع مما لا يراجع ولا يختصر، إنه هو هو. طريقا لكل شيء بدءًا من ألف باء تاء العلم وحتى هجائية لست تعرفها إلا ضالعاً متبحراً. لله كيف ستٍّ وعشرين دولارا [...]

    • мини тяло says:

      Най-накрая приключи.И само това да бях коригирала, щях да се гордея със себе си.

    • Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog) says:

      As accurate a title as can be for this tremendously ambitious behemoth. I very much enjoyed the masterful laying of a mathematical framework when first I came across it (the first dozen or so chapters if memory serves; hence the rating, as well as for the aforementioned ambition in the task- I think this is a right way to go, though popular expositors seldom venture down this route), as Penrose does it so efficiently (and naturally too, so that the layman wouldn't shove it aside in disgust after [...]

    • Mohamed al-Jamri says:

      This book is not for those with no strong background in mathematics and physics and it is definitely not for lay readers.Except for the first 40 pages or so the book material was very sophisticated and hard to understand for me. Today I decided to stop as for the past 30 or so oages I could only understand little of what I was reading.I'm putting it on hold now and I may return to it later after establishing a strong base in mathematics and physics.

    • Jimmy says:

      Not an easy read because of all of the math, but well worth the effort for those who can make it.

    • Alex Lee says:

      In this amazing book, Roger Penrose looks for a very fundamental issue.He is looking for a single metric to describe everything.This is not a unit of reality, however, although this is how he poses the issue.The problem with selecting a metric, as he shows us over and over, lies in how different metrics arise from localizations on various manifolds. As these metrics are extended beyond the localization, the very structure of these metrics will threaten to buckle. In many instances, the metrics ( [...]

    • James F says:

      For the past year and a half I have been reading heavily in popular works on physics and astronomy, at various levels ranging from the superficial gosh-wow (Michel Kaku) through total beginner level to the somewhat more sophisticated (Brian Greene, Kip Thorne, Lee Smolin); but almost always I have been frustrated in my understanding by the lack of any mathematics to support the often metaphorical discussions. At the same time, I understood that the real mathematics of relativity, let alone quant [...]

    • Maarten says:

      The story goes that Stephen Hawking was once told by a book publisher that every formula in his book would halve the amount of readers (or sales, almost the same thing, but not to a publisher). He was , of course, totally and utterly wrong. The Road to Reality contains about 1100 pages and, on average, there's about 9 formulas per page. That makes roughly 1000 formulas. According to this publisher's law, that would halve the sales a thousand times (2^(-1000)), so a rough estimate of the amount o [...]

    • Rama says:

      Deciphering the laws of physics to create universal realityThis is an exhaustive review of the laws of physics as related to physical reality with significant emphasis on the mathematical component. The author is an outstanding mathematical physicist of our times, and in this book of 1100 pages, he describes the concept of space, time, and matter (energy) in terms of classical physics, quantum physics, string theory and its derivatives. In physics, the behavior of objects is understood in terms [...]

    • F Avery says:

      By his own admission in the preface, this is Penrose' attempt to popularize the current thinking in theoretical physics, including quantum mechanics, relativity, and unification theories such as string theories and quantum gravity. In the introduction he says (paraphrased) that he has intentionally gone for the more mathematical route, in spite of advice to the contrary, but he hopes that those without a mathematical bent can just skip the equations and get the gist of the concepts anyway.With d [...]

    • Leo Walsh says:

      How Would a Physicist Think About the Quantum World?I usually fly through books, and have no problem understanding them. Not this one. Over a year after I first cracked it, I am finally done. I am amazed by the rigor of this work. In fact, I can say that I “sort of” understand the major concepts of quantum mechanics as a physicist would.Most popularizations of quantum physics are simplifications, ignoring the math. More insidious, the concepts of quantum mechanics are used to “justify” s [...]

    • Michael says:

      I desperately want to make it through this book. I might be crazy. I think part of my fascination with finishing it is to compensate for not finishing engineering school. I can tell you this It would be a lot easier to read if I had attained my degree (and actually learned the material along the way). Nonetheless, this book opens in the most interesting and captivating fashion, which says a lot about a book that works to explain the universe by walking through the history of mathematics. A coupl [...]

    • David says:

      Penrose examines the turn modern theoretical physics has taken in pursuit of multi-dimensional mathematical models to develop a unified model of the sub-atomic realm. His argument is not entirely mathematical, though he does have good arguments against unnecessary complexity from the point of view of the straightforward progress made by theoretical physics in discovering the mathematical elegance of relationships among various observed constants. His most profound argument against String Theory [...]

    • David says:

      This excellent, definitive work is not for the faint of heart of the weak of mathematics. You'll have finished most of the material for an undergraduate degree in math by the time you've worked your way through this: the first half of the book starts with Pythagorean number theory, complex number calculus, Riemann surfaces, Fourier decomposition, n-dimensional manifolds, Lie symmetry groups, and builds out from there. However, rich fruit is reaped in the second half of the book, which delves dee [...]

    • Ronald Lett says:

      Penrose is a master of his field. This text has exercises in it that range from simple expositions to those that will take weeks of serious thought. If you are a student of physics, this text casts the widest net possible, touring you through all of the mathematics and physics that you will become intimately familiar with in connections and expositions that you will rarely find in single courses.

    • Carlo says:

      This book is way above my head. I'm gonna shelve it for a while and probably be back to it after some more readings in math. It is certainly not a layman's book, especially if you want to really understand the implications of Penrose's ideas. I have an engineering degree, and yet, from the second chapter on, I was sweating!

    • Ramon says:

      One of the best mathematically complete but general and interesting physics books by one of the greatest of the field.

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