Read Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions by Lisa Randall Free Online
Book Title: Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions|
The author of the book: Lisa Randall
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.65 MB
Edition: Harper Perennial
Date of issue: September 19th 2006
ISBN 13: 9780060531096
Read full description of the books:I reviewed this once before and a tecnical snafu ate it when I tried to up load it...
This book is dreadful: here are the many reasons why:
The material is disorganised. The book is ostensibly about extra spatial dimensions. The concepts are introduced in the first few chapters then don't re-appear until the last few chapters. The Standard Model is introduced twice.
The explanations are poor and sometimes wrong. The section on the Pauli Principle is riddled with errors and omissions that should embarress a good A-level chemistry student. The section on CP symmetry and CPT symmetry is so bad that I did not recognise these concepts for what they were until several chapters later. These concepts are not actually difficult to explain, even if it is hard to see why they should be true: In CP symmetry, all matter is swapped for it's antimatter equivalent and the directions left and right are reversed. When this is done, no difference can be detected between before and after the swap. This symmetry is known to work for all physical processes except those involving the weak nuclear force. In CPT symmetry, as well as swapping matter for antimatter and left for right, the direction of time is reversed. This symmetry was believed to hold for all circumstances - it could have happened five times since you started reading this review and you would never be able to tell the difference! However, very recent results have suggested that neutrinos and antinuetrinos may have different masses which would mean that CPT symmetry does not apply to them. This isn't a well established result yet, though. So, really, how hard was that to explain? Randall also offers the worst introduction to the fundamental mysteries of quantum mechanics I've ever read (and I've read quite a number).
Randall can't write: Additionally to giving bad explanations, Randall also gives us a very bad story at the beginning of each chapter. These stories have no literary merit and do not make understanding the forthcoming material any easier. They are like the dialogues from Godel, Escher, Bach by Hofstadter with all wit, literary merit and purpose removed, except they aren't dialogues, either.
Pop song wisdom: Each chapter begins with a quote from a pop song. These are not profound or witty. Many, many years ago I developed the principle, "Do not get your life wisdom from pop songs." One could also say, "Do not quote pop songs at the heads of chapters unless you want to look as if you've never read a book in your life."
Repetition: Using the same unclear explanation over and over again does not make a topic easier to understand. Since it was very difficult to understand Randall's explanations of concepts I am already familiar with repeating them isn't helpful.
Bloat: The new "physics" Randall wants to explain comes in the final two chapters of a long book which is full of digressions that are irrelevant to the main thrust. Weirdly the author includes every theoretical development of the last 20 years except the only one that has a firm experimental basis (i.e. neutrino oscillation, which I'm not going to explain here). Weirdly, this would have been useful, unlike the ones she does include, because the issue of "flavour mixing" comes up at one point. Again it took me some time to realise that this "flavour mixing" was something I knew about - neutrino oscillation!
Is there anything good about this book? Well, there's an explanation of why one theory of relativity is Special and the other is General that you won't find in many other places. Is that compensation for nearly 500p of tedious, repetitive and extremely speculative barely comprehensible explanations?
Stick to the maths, Lisa; you're good at maths.
Read information about the authorLISA RANDALL is Professor of Physics at Harvard University. She began her physics career at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. She was a finalist, and tied for first place, in the National Westinghouse Science Talent Search. She went on to Harvard where she earned the BS (1983) and PhD (1987) in physics. She was a President's Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and a junior fellow at Harvard University. She joined the MIT faculty in 1991 as an assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor in 1995 and received tenure in 1997. Between 1998 and 2001 she had a joint appointment at Princeton and MIT as a full professor. She moved to Harvard as a full professor in 2001.
She was the 1st tenured woman in physics at Princeton; the 1st tenured woman theorist in science at Harvard and at MIT. She's the most cited theoretical physicist in the world in the last five years as of last autumn — a total of about 10,000 citations. In this regard, she is most known for two papers: "A Large mass Hierarchy From a Small Extra Dimension" (2500 citations); and and "An Alternative to Compactification" (about 2500 citations). Both concern "Warped Geometry/Spacetime" and show that infinite extra dimension and weakness of gravity can be explained with an extra dimension.
Lisa Randall’s research in theoretical high energy physics is primarily related to the question of what is the physics underlying the standard model of particle physics. This has involved studies of strongly interacting theories, supersymmetry, and most recently, extra dimensions of space. In this latter work, she investigates “warped” geometries. The focus of this work has been a particular class of theories based on five-dimensional AdS space which has the remarkable property that the graviton is localized and the space need not be compactified. Related work demonstrates that this theory yields a very natural resolution to the hierarchy problem of particle physics (the large ratio of the Planck and electroweak scales) and furthermore, is compatible with unification of gauge couplings. This latter class of theories suggests interesting experimental tests. The study of further implications of this work has involved string theory, holography, and cosmology. Lisa Randall also continues to work on supersymmetry and other beyond-the-standard-model physics.
Within a year of her work on extra dimensions, it was featured on the front page of the Science Times section of The New York Times. It has also been featured in the Economist, the New Scientist, Science,Nature, The Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Daily News, a BBC Horizons television program, BBC radio, and other news sources. She has also been also been interviewed because Science Watch and the ISI Essential Science Indicators have indicated her research as some of the best cited in all of science.
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