Road to Reality

Roadtoreality I just received Sir Roger Penrose’s new book, The Road to Reality from Amazon. This long-awaited book purports to be, as the subtitle says, "A complete guide to the laws of the universe." That’s a bit of an exaggeration, since it’s really about physics and the associated math needed to represent it, but I guess we’ll forgive Penrose a bit of reductionism. And including chemistry or biology would have been a bit much anyhow — the tome weighs in at 1100 pages just with physics and math.

The first 16 chapters (!) cover the mathematical background of modern physics, from Euclid through symmetry groups and calculus on manifolds.  The remainder of the book starts at space-time and moves through modern physics, hitting cosmology on the way and ending up at string and twistor theory. 

I can’t wait to start reading.  I have a feeling that when I do, my progress on the 50 Book Challenge will slow down a bit, so I think I’ll finish several of the current "in progress" stack before cracking it again. 


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