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The Road to Reality
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About the Author

Roger Penrose is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their joint contribution to our understanding of the universe. His books include The Emperor's New Mind, Shadows of the Mind, and The Nature of Space and Time, which he wrote with Hawking. He has lectured extensively at universities throughout America. He lives in Oxford.

Reviews

From an emeritus professor of mathematics at Oxford: everything you ever wanted to know about the laws that govern the universe-and what makes them so appealing. With a six-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

At first, this hefty new tome from Oxford physicist Penrose (The Emperor's New Mind) looks suspiciously like a textbook, complete with hundreds of diagrams and pages full of mathematical notation. On a closer reading, however, one discovers that the book is something entirely different and far more remarkable. Unlike a textbook, the purpose of which is purely to impart information, this volume is written to explore the beautiful and elegant connection between mathematics and the physical world. Penrose spends the first third of his book walking us through a seminar in high-level mathematics, but only so he can present modern physics on its own terms, without resorting to analogies or simplifications (as he explains in his preface, "in modern physics, one cannot avoid facing up to the subtleties of much sophisticated mathematics"). Those who work their way through these initial chapters will find themselves rewarded with a deep and sophisticated tour of the past and present of modern physics. Penrose transcends the constraints of the popular science genre with a unique combination of respect for the complexity of the material and respect for the abilities of his readers. This book sometimes begs comparison with Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, and while Penrose's vibrantly challenging volume deserves similar success, it will also likely lie unfinished on as many bookshelves as Hawking's. For those hardy readers willing to invest their time and mental energies, however, there are few books more deserving of the effort. 390 illus. (Feb. 24) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"A comprehensive guide to physics' big picture, and to the thoughts of one of the world's most original thinkers."--The New York Times

"Simply astounding. . . . Gloriously variegated. . . . Pure delight. . . . It is shocking that so much can be explained so well. . . . Penrose gives us something that has been missing from the public discourse on science lately-a reason to live, something to look forward to." --American Scientist "A remarkable book . . . teeming with delights." --Nature "This is his magnum opus, the culmination of an already stellar career and a comprehensive summary of the current state of physics and cosmology. It should be read by anyone entering the field and referenced by everyone working in it." --The New York Sun "Extremely comprehensive. . . . The Road to Reality unscores the fact that Penrose is one of the world's most original thinkers." --Tucson Citizen "What a joy it is to read a book that doesn't simplify, doesn't dodge the difficult questions, and doesn't always pretend to have answers. . . . Penrose's appetite is heroic, his knowledge encyclopedic, his modesty a reminder that not all physicists claim to be able to explain the world in 250 pages."
--The Times (London) "For physics fans, the high point of the year will undoubtedly be The Road to Reality."
--The Guardian "A truly remarkable book...Penrose does much to reveal the beauty and subtlety that connects nature and the human imagination, demonstrating that the quest to understand the reality of our physical world, and the extent and limits of our mental capacities, is an awesome, never-ending journey rather than a one-way cul-de-sac."--London Sunday Times "Penrose's work is genuinely magnificent, and the most stimulating book I have read in a long time."--Scotland on Sunday "Science needs more people like Penrose, willing and able to point out the flaws in fashionable models from a position of authority and to signpost alternative roads to follow."--The Independent

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