Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: The Book of Universes: Exploring the Limits of the Cosmos by John D. Barrow

The Book of Universes: Exploring the Limits of the Cosmos by 

Summary: Einstein's theory of general relativity opens the door to other universes, and weird universes at that: universes that allow time travel, universes where you can see the back of your head, universes that spin and bounce or multiply without limit. The Book of Universes gives us a stunning tour of these potential universes, introducing us along the way to the brilliant physicists and mathematicians who first revealed their startling possibilities. John D. Barrow explains the latest discoveries and ideas that physics and astronomy have to offer about our own universe, showing how these findings lead to the concept of the "multiverse"—the Universe of all possible universes. New ideas force us to confront the possibility that our visible universe is a tiny region, governed by its own laws, within a Multiverse containing all the strange universes that could be—an idea that is among the most exciting and revolutionary in all of modern science.

Review: A very thorough and accessible book about our universe and the many possible forms it can take. 

When this book says it's a book of universes, it certainly is a book about universes. Each chapter in this book and each section in the chapter begins with one or two quotes which are quite humorous. The first few chapters in this book are very accessible and the author's humor comes through. A good deal of the information in the first few chapters is a review of what I already know, but provides a good basis for those that are new to physics and the historic and more recent developments in the field. The book follows a roughly chronological line when discussing the universes. 

I did learn quite a bit of new information. I was not aware of just how many universes there were. The Book of Universes is almost like a dictionary of universes. Once the first few chapters are finished, the author lists a handful of universes each chapter and provides a few pages about each one. I feel there are too many universes in this book. It might have been better to provide a couple examples for each chapter instead of three or four or five. This book also does not provide much information about the physics behind the universes.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys physics or who is very interested in learning about the universe. I would not recommend this book to casual science readers. 

No comments:

Post a Comment