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## Details

Additional Physical Format: | Online version: Penrose, Roger. Road to reality. New York : A.A. Knopf, 2005 (OCoLC)682395292 |
---|---|

Material Type: | Internet resource |

Document Type: | Book, Internet Resource |

All Authors / Contributors: |
Roger Penrose |

ISBN: | 0679454438 9780679454434 |

OCLC Number: | 56753301 |

Notes: | Originally published: London : Jonathan Cape, 2004. |

Description: | xxviii, 1099 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm |

Contents: | The roots of science -- An ancient theorem and a modern question -- Kinds of number in the physical world -- Magical complex numbers -- Geometry of logarithms, powers, and roots -- Real-number calculus -- Complex-number calculus -- Riemann surfaces and complex mappings -- Fourier decomposition and hyperfunctions -- Surfaces -- Hypercomplex numbers -- Manifolds of n dimensions -- Symmetry groups -- Calculus on manifolds -- Fibre bundles and gauge connections -- The ladder of infinity -- Spacetime -- Minkowskian geometry -- The classical fields of Maxwell and Einstein -- Lagrangians and Hamiltonians -- The quantum particle -- Quantum algebra, geometry, and spin -- The entangled quantum world -- Dirac's electron and antiparticles -- The standard model of particle physics -- Quantum field theory -- The big bang and its thermodynamic legacy -- Speculative theories of the early universe -- The measurement paradox -- Gravity's role in quantum state reduction -- Supersymmetry, supra-dimensionality, and strings -- Einstein's narrower path; loop variables -- More radical perspectives; twistor theory -- Where lies the road to reality? |

Responsibility: | Roger Penrose. |

More information: |

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## Reviews

*User-contributed reviews*

### WorldCat User Reviews (2)

#### Flavor of complete reality

I enjoyed The Road to Reality, the parts I could follow, which was a good deal of it...

**
Read more...
**

I enjoyed The Road to Reality, the parts I could follow, which was a good deal of it (okay, perhaps as much as half). I particularly valued the math emphasis and the criticisms of quantum and cosmological theories. However, there was too much that was not clear to me/not well written (in some cases, believe or not, because of insufficient equations) and there are numerous typos/grammar/spelling errors, plus at least one wrong equation (contradicting another on the same page--see Planck's formula for black body radiation on page 502 and figure 21.3; I did not check this out--both equations could be wrong!) and two citations not in the extensive reference list (pp. 490; 500) . Perhaps my harshest criticism is the contradiction in virtually the first sentence where Penrose admits his intention is only to give a flavor of his topic, not as the subtitle tells us (A COMPLETE Guide to THE Laws of the Universe). Complete and flavor of are different, and Penrose is surely aware that there are many laws besides physical ones in this particular universe! Penrose sometimes uses a different meaning of theory versus law than what I had been taught. I was told that a law is more solid than a theory, thus more elusive, less refutable, and more valued, whereas Penrose at least one time stated that he means by law simply an empirical function that is grist for the really important device: theory. I can see his point, easily, but his goals might be better attained with my (conventional?) usages. I have mixed feelings about the way one must jump around, meaning jump ahead, to find out what is referred to, because although Penrose was notably thorough/conscientious about cross-references, there is the taint of disorganization which, like with the many trivial mistakes, suggests laziness. Can he be both simultaneously? It appears so. There are a kazillion exclamation points which might annoy some readers, but I enjoyed them as they conveyed his enthusiasm/amazement, and I tended to concur. Another complaint is that somewhere the book is called an introduction to modern physics, but I was easily able to list a dozen topics not even mentioned which I recall from actual introductory texts. Had Penrose found a little humility to mention in the briefest possible way most that he left out about physics, this would have helped his case. To his credit, he did mention a lot of what he left out about what he in fact addressed. Here's a puzzle of sorts in the spirit of Penrose's generally delightful philosophical musings (re: Platonic Ideals as both real and more/better-than-real): why not include balls/globes/spheres as one of the regular polyhedra?--the one with an infinite number of faces each with infinite number of sides, perhaps to be associated with the "world" of Platonic Ideals (like the way the regular tetrahedra are associated with fire and cubes with the earth fundamental elements)!

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#### Flavor for complete reality

I enjoyed The Road to Reality, the parts I could follow, which was a good deal of it (okay, perhaps half). I particularly valued the math emphasis and the criticisms of quantum and cosmological theories. However, there was too much that was not clear to me (in some cases, believe or not, insuffient...

**
Read more...
**

I enjoyed The Road to Reality, the parts I could follow, which was a good deal of it (okay, perhaps half). I particularly valued the math emphasis and the criticisms of quantum and cosmological theories. However, there was too much that was not clear to me (in some cases, believe or not, insuffient equations) and there are numerous typos/grammar/spelling errors, plus at least one wrong equation (contradicting another on the same page--see Plank's formula for black body radiation; I did not check this out--both equations could be wrong!) and two citations not in the reference list. Perhaps my harshest criticism is the contradiction in virtually the first sentence where Penrose admits his intention is only to give a flavor of his topic, not as the subtitle tells us, a complete guide. These are different! Penrose uses a different meaning of theory versus law than what I had been taught. I was told that a law is more solid than a theory, thus more elusive, less refutable, and more valued, whereas Penrose means by law simply an empirical function that is grist for the really important device, theory. I can see what he means, easily, but his goals might be better attained with my (conventional?) usage. I have mixed feelings about the way one must jump around, meaning jump ahead, to find out what is referred to, because although Penrose was notably thorough/conscientious about cross-references, there is the taint of disorganization, which suggests laziness. Can he be both simultaneously? It appears so. There are a kazillion exclamation points which might annoy some readers, but I enjoyed them as they conveyed his enthusiasm, and I tended to concur. Another complaint is that somewhere the book is called an introduction to modern physics, but I was easily able to list a dozen topics not even mentioned which I recall from actual introductory texts. Had Penrose found a little humility to mention in the briefest possible way all that he left out about physics, this would have helped his case. To his credit, he did mention a lot of what he left out about what he in fact addressed. Here's a puzzle of sorts in the spirit of Penrose's philosophical speculations (re: Platonic Ideals as both real and more-than-real): why not include balls/globes/spheres as one of the regular polyhedra?--the one with an infinite number of faces, perhaps to be associated with the "world" of Platonic Ideals (like the way cubes are associated with the earth fundamental element)!

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