This book describes the processes and some of the people behind the strands of research into the most recent developments in physics from the viewpoint of one of its most notable proponents It s nature makes it heavy going on places, because the subject is dependent on the use of advanced mathematics in ways that defy easy explanation A little explanation of the jargon might help those unfamiliar with the subject. A good popular introduction to quantum gravityThe text of the 2001 original edition has not been updated but the 25 pages of the postscript to the 2017 edition is a good addition I have read a good few books of this genre and came away with some understanding of the underlying concepts However, this author seems to keep going round in circles describing the same thing To me it seems that the editing is somewhat lacking. I have a reliably measured IQ of 145, which was of absolutely use whatever in trying to grasp the arguments in this book.I have stared into bowls of alphabet soup that made sense.Should be fun for a Physics Mathematics geek As a layman, useless I m happy I ve read this.I first discovered it on a sample read on Google.My physics education ended in 1974,so a lot of the concepts are new,particularly the current views on relativity.There are no maths in this excellently written volume,just some wonderful concepts to your Newtonian head around..For the price of a pint,it s a thought provoking read.Try Laurence Krause s A universe from nothing as well. This book is very well written at a level somewhat above most popular science books, but then that was what I was looking for It s a stimulating read and very thought provoking Seems to give a good all round view of current research generally, as well as Lee Smolin s take on the subject, which I find much compelling than other theories around at present. Extremely erudite and very difficult for my poor brain to fully understand, but totally fascinating and absorbing I love it Vorweg Dieses Buch ist meines Erachtens nur f r Naturwissenschaftler verdaulich Der Autor hat sich zwar unglaublich M he gegeben, seine tiefsch rfenden Gedankeng nge leichtfasslich und ohne Mathematik wiederzugeben, aber ohne gute bis sehr gute Grundkenntnisse in Physik und Kosmologie wird man vermutlich nur Bahnhof verstehen.F r mich war dieses Buch nach Brian Greenes Das elegante Universum ein weiteres Highlight allerdings aus verschiedenen Gr nden Greene gelingt es beispielsweise atemberaubend gut, Grundlagen der Relativit tstheorie zu vermitteln An der Uni h tte ich mir so einen Lehrer gew nscht Lee Smolin spielt hingegen seine St rken darin aus, aus allerfundamentalsten Prinzipien heraus ganz neue Einsichten zu Raum und Zeit zu entwickeln Zwar haben sich seine optimistischen Prognosen im Hinblick auf die Schaffung einer allgemein akzeptierten Theorie der Quantengravitation noch nicht erf llt, aber sein Enthusiasmus rei t den Leser mit.Zudem habe ich viele spannende und berraschende Dinge gelernt, die gar teilweise gar nicht so neu sind, aber w hrend meines Studiums in den achtziger Jahren von meinen etwas verschnarchten Professoren nicht vermittelt wurden So beispielsweise die Resultate von William Unruh zum quivalenzprinzip, das eine der Grundlagen der allgemeinen Relativit tstheorie ist Besonders fasziniert hat mich, wie viele Resultate der Kosmologie, insbesondere die Bekenstein Grenze, zum Verst ndnis von Quanteneffekten herangezogen werden k nnen.Am meisten jedoch freue ich mich, dass endlich ein Autor aufzeigt, wie die uns glichen Interpretationsprobleme der klassischen Quantenmechanik Kopenhagener Deutung gel st werden k nnen, indem die Trennung von Beobachter und dem zu beobachtenden System ein f r allemal ber den Haufen geworfen wird Der ber hmte Kollaps der Wellenfunktion ist einfach Quatsch, wenn man den Argumenten von Smolin folgt.Mein Fazit F r Physiker mit Interesse an grunds tzlichen Fragen zur Natur von Raum und Zeit ist dieses Buch absolut uneingeschr nkt zu empfehlen Ich habe es zutiefst genossen Ob interessierte Laien damit etwas anfangen k nnen, kann ich nicht genau einsch tzen Ich habe aber den Verdacht, dass nicht Im Zweifelsfall w rde ich sagen Ein Versuch kann nicht schaden. The Holy Grail of modern physics is a theory of the universe that unites two seemingly opposing pillars of modern science Einstein s theory of general relativity, which deals with large scale phenomena planets, solar systems and galaxies , and quantum theory, which deals with the world of the very small molecules, atoms, electrons In Three Roads to Quantum Gravity, Lee Smolin provides the first concise and accessible overview of current attempts to reconcile these two theories in a final theory of everything This is the closest anyone has ever come to devising a completely new theory of space, time and the universe to replace the Newtonian ideas that were the foundation of all science until the beginning of the twentieth century Lee Smolin, who has spent his career at the forefront of these new discoveries, presents for the first time the main ideas behind the new developments that have brought a quantum theory of gravity in sight He explains in simple terms what scientists are talking about when they say the world is made from exotic entities such as loops, strings, and black holes As he does so, he tells the fascinating stories behind these discoveries the rivalries, epiphanies, and intrigues he witnessed firsthandScience Masters Series Lee Smolin has been my preferred science writer for many years now and he continues to capture my interest with his thoughtful and beautifully expressed manner.This book is a masterful piece of work by him Unlike some other authors who hold a strong viewpoint, he is not confronting or derisive of other researchers He shares his thoughts beautifully and with great care His descriptions for the layperson who is not mathematically endowed are brilliant.I recommend this book to anyone who holds an interest in this subject matter He held my interest throughout this book.I should also mention with delight that he doesn t travel over the standard well trodden fare that one regularly encounters these days of telling us the history of science that we already know well enough from.past reading The whole of this book is the meat of the theories being expressed throughout.