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Our Mathematical Universe Audiobook

Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

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Publisher's Summary

Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy, and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist. Fascinating from first to last - this is a book that has already prompted the attention and admiration of some of the most prominent scientists and mathematicians.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2014 Max Tegmark (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“Tegmark offers a fascinating exploration of multiverse theories, each one offering new ways to explain ‘quantum weirdness’ and other mysteries that have plagued physicists, culminating in the idea that our physical world is ‘a giant mathematical object’ shaped by geometry and symmetry. Tegmark’s writing is lucid, enthusiastic, and outright entertaining, a thoroughly accessible discussion leavened with anecdotes and the pure joy of a scientist at work.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Lively and lucid, the narrative invites general readers into debates over computer models for brain function, over scientific explanations of consciousness, and over prospects for finding advanced life in other galaxies. Though he reflects soberly on the perils of nuclear war and of hostile artificial intelligence, Tegmark concludes with a bracingly upbeat call for scientifically minded activists who recognize a rare opportunity to make our special planet a force for cosmic progress. An exhilarating adventure for bold readers.” —Bryce Cristensen, Booklist (starred review)

“Our Mathematical Universe boldly confronts one of the deepest questions at the fertile interface of physics and philosophy: why is mathematics so spectacularly successful at describing the cosmos? Through lively writing and wonderfully accessible explanations, Max Tegmark—one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists—guides the reader to a possible answer, and reveals how, if it’s right, our understanding of reality itself would be radically altered.” —Brian Greene, physicist, author of The Elegant Universe and The Hidden Reality

“Daring, Radical. Innovative. A game changer. If Dr. Tegmark is correct, this represents a paradigm shift in the relationship between physics and mathematics, forcing us to rewrite our textbooks. A must read for anyone deeply concerned about our universe.” —Michio Kaku, author of Physics of the Future 

“Tegmark offers a fresh and fascinating perspective on the fabric of physical reality and life itself. He helps us see ourselves in a cosmic context that highlights the grand opportunities for the future of life in our universe.” —Ray Kurzweil, author of The Singularity is Near

“Readers of varied backgrounds will enjoy this book. Almost anyone will find something to learn here, much to ponder, and perhaps something to disagree with.” —Prof. Edward Witten, physicist, Fields Medalist & Milner Laureate

“This inspirational book written by a true expert presents an explosive mixture of physics, mathematics and philosophy which may alter your views on reality.” —Prof. Andrei Linde, physicist, Gruber & Milner Laureate for development of inflationary cosmology
 
“Galileo famously said that the universe is written in the language of mathematics. Now Max Tegmark says that the universe IS mathematics. You don’t have to necessarily agree, to enjoy this fascinating journey into the nature of reality.” —Prof. Mario Livio, astrophysicist, author of Brilliant Blunders and Is God a Mathematician?

“Scientists and lay aficionados alike will find Tegmark’s book packed with information and very thought provoking. You may recoil from his thesis, but nearly every page will make you wish you could debate the issues face-to-face with him.” —Prof. Julian Barbour, physicist, author of The End of Time

“In Our Mathematical Universe, renowned cosmologist Max Tegmark takes us on a whirlwind tour of the universe, past, present—and other.  With lucid language and clear examples, Tegmark provides us with the master measure of not only of our cosmos, but of all possible universes.  The universe may be lonely, but it is not alone.” —Prof. Seth Lloyd, Professor of quantum mechanical engineering, MIT, author of Programming the Universe
 
“A lucid, engaging account of the various many-universes theories of fundamental physics that are currently being considered, from the multiverse of quantum theory to Tegmark’s own grand vision.” —Prof. David Deutsch, physicist, Dirac Laureate for pioneering quantum computing

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1198 )
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  •  
    Carlton George Trinidad and Tobago 10-12-17
    Carlton George Trinidad and Tobago 10-12-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Science meets philosophy logic and fantasy"

    A great primer on contemporary cosmology with mind boggling musings on the holy grail of mathematical philosophy. A must read. In fact read it twice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karl FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 10-11-17
    Karl FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 10-11-17 Member Since 2017
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    49
    5
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    "top notch pop physics/cosmology"

    One of the better popular physics/cosmology books of many I have read. The author is a true authority.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad 09-30-17
    Chad 09-30-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Life changing "

    For most of my life I have had a framed quote from Galileo in my room written in the original Latin by my mom that basically translates to "Mathematics is the alphabet with which god created the universe." I'm not sure if Galileo referred to a judeo christian god, and Tegmark seems to avoid the subject entirely, but it is irrelevant to me. Tegmark has given us a whole book on the idea without the need to factor that in right now. His examination of the universe, the possibilities of reality and our place in it through his logic (admittedly with a few assumptions) and storytelling is inspiring, magical, and humbling. I'm so glad he decided to write this book, especially the last chapter. Thank you Max. Also, I'm gonna finally go read that Feynman book now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronny Huang Cornell 09-16-17
    Ronny Huang Cornell 09-16-17 Member Since 2017
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    "favorite pop science book thus far"

    rigorous physics, great societal commentary, engaging, personal, easy to read and understand. going to download Tegmarks next book on AI

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ayele 09-06-17
    Ayele 09-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    "The if suppositions "

    I was under the impression that the science of reality was the science of mathematical bounded reality . Reality is only meaningful within the bounds of Zero and infinity. At Zero and beyond and at infinity and beyond meaning ceases . Because zero is a value and but not a defined quantity so is infinity an emensity but a meaningless emensity nonetheless.because with infinity everything is possible and everything is impossible at the same time and it can't get any more meaningless than that. To indulge oneself in meaninglessness I think is not a stuff of physics. The assertion that we either take an existing theory in its totality or create one or discover or create one I don't think is the right way to approach a pro Len or the theory itself and don't think it stands the any existing theory as every existing mathematical or other theories have always failed partially or totally and are often fine tuned and tweaked to to correctly define a reality more precisely. Newtonian physics doesn't have to be either fully accepted or fully discarded for Einestine's theory of relativity to work or accepted and if that was true to Newtonian physic wonder why it would be falls to Einestinian relativity theory. When some thing works it does and when it fails it as well does despite grandeur and mythical status and physiatrist a and physics are duty bound to call failure what it is and keep looking for an alternative and not force unreal reality for the sake of conformity. I found it somewhat astonishing the degree of the authors conformist stances when he tattered on the edges of going to the altar and preach creationist theology because physics had failed to fully describe reality with existing methods and mechanisms. Last I find it equally difficult to comprehend the "ifs" conditions he repeatedly inserted to make reality conform to hit a point appeals to me as bogus arguments rather than accept reality as we.see it feel it and know it and find why it is as it is we just don't suppose our way and engage in a futility of circular reasoning I find the author making exactly that. It goes without saying that there're many things that I had known from reading the book that I wouldn't have the chance without . It had been educational for me in many ways and I am glad I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seha Ismen Ozgur 08-25-17 Member Since 2017
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    "A wonderful overview of the latest thinking in physics"

    This book, while mostly focused on the latest understanding of our cosmos, is a wonderful overview of theoretical and experimental physics, from particle physics to cosmology and the origins and nature of our universe. Tegmark recounts the history of physics as a personal story, and the book reads like a mystery novel. He delivers as interesting a range of insights into the process of how ideas in cosmology evolved over time and the personal stories of the known/unknown contributors to the field, as he does to the actual science itself. He leads upto and concludes with his own theory (the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis), and closes with the implications for humanity and its place in the cosmos.

    Rob Shapiro does a wonderful job with the audio version. Though the audio was a pleasure to listen to, and in some ways brought the emotions of the author alive in a way the book itself may not have, I think I will also get a paper copy to keep as a reference.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Easy Writer 08-10-17
    Easy Writer 08-10-17
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    ""let's make a difference""

    Great book with lots of interesting and perhaps new ideas for the mathematically inclined, philosophically interested cosmologically awestruck human being that likes have things put into perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Make a difference."

    Existence is inconceivably enormous. You matter more. The actions, even the momentary thoughts that you choose to have in a single day WILL reverberate throughout all time, all space, and all possibility. You matter more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-24-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Lacking in rigor but interesting."

    I wasn't terribly impressed with the text. Some interesting arguments are made but they amount to little but redescription. The audio was decent and the text wasn't bad, it just wasn't that good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff M. 05-25-17
    Jeff M. 05-25-17
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    "meh"

    interesting ideas for sure, but he gets preachy at the end, which I didn't enjoy as much as the physics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Jan W. H. Schnupp
    Oxford, England
    7/6/14
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    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable trip through spacetime - no maths needed"

    I'm about 2/3rds through and am enjoying this book greatly. It provides a clear and accessible account of modern cosmology. Finally I understand why some people are very excited by measurements of cosmic microwave background radiation. The title may make you wonder whether this book will be hard work, but I didn't think so. You certainly don't have to do equations. Even though the subject matter (multiverses, general relativity & similar) may seem heavy going, the writing style of the book is quite chatty and enthusiastic, so it doesn't feel like work. And the narrator has a lovely smooth voice and reads with nice emphasis.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Kompani
    Hertford, UK
    3/30/14
    Overall
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    "Test Your Little Grey Cells"
    What made the experience of listening to Our Mathematical Universe the most enjoyable?

    The first half of the book gives you a history of cosmology and its associated mathematics. The second half is Max Tegmark's theory of the Big Bang and what came after.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A very clear explanation of the theorys of the cosmos and the problems of interpreting what is observed and calculated.


    What does Rob Shapiro bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Rob Shapiro, the voice actor, gives a very well paced and clear performance of the text.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Max Tegmark can be profound, humourus and very honest.


    Any additional comments?

    A great book that furthers the understanding of the origin and future of our cosmos.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • G
    United Kingdom
    3/21/14
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    Performance
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    "An entertaining explanation of fascinating ideas."
    Any additional comments?

    I've been troubled by super positioning, boson fields and the time space continuum for quite a while now. Max Tegmark describes all of this eloquently and explains his thoughts on matters that I had not yet considered. During the read I experienced very brief moments of absolute clarity. So much so that I was able to expand some of the hypothesis into unchartered dimensions with my own original concepts. Of course I have forgotten all of them now, but the thought that I might be a Boltzmann brain remains disturbing. Top marks for Rob Shapiro the narrator as well. I will certainly revisit all 15 hours of this book again.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dhyano
    1/13/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stretch your mind into multidimensional realities."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Our Mathematical Universe to be better than the print version?

    It is certainly better in case the reader is blind. I generally prefer audio editions because I'm slightly dyslexic and it takes me ages to read a book. But in this case I think I will take a look at the printed version too.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Our Mathematical Universe?

    At the end of the last chapter when it says that us, fellow travelers of the blue planet spaceship can make a difference if we put our resources into the right direction.


    What about Rob Shapiro’s performance did you like?

    It was impeccable and so brilliantly capable to deliver onto an emotional level highly complex abstract constructs of ideas.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes both. I've found hilarious many episode narrated and very emotional the end of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book that opens the door to a vast 'youniverse'. It's the beginning of a fascinating series of readings and research that will expand not only my knowledge but also my ability to look at the incredible potential of human awareness.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Zad Flappentash
    4/8/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I'd pay extra for Shapiro"

    The narrator Rob is absolutely excellent and has clearly read through the material first. I hope he carries on doing more. It would actually sway my decision to purchase another title.

    I haven't finished the book yet so will update when I do - but at chapter 4 I am enthralled and engaged and thoroughly enjoying.

    I usually bombard myself with lectures (yes, self inflicted - I am old enough to have left school with O levels and not bothered with much more that wasn't earning money.)

    This narrative is kind of personal and he makes no apologies for that. Not in rude way but sets out his stall early doors that he is not going to try to "balance" his theories by reciting 10 others. It's actually quite refreshing.

    Well written and well read.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/3/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Definitely going to need another read"

    This book is not exactly easy to get through. There are a lot of topics discussed in here that I have of course heard of, but that have never been explained to me before. Nevertheless, I would say that this book is accessible to everyone who would pick up this book.
    The content is... quite something. I still don't know what to think. He predicted my initial reaction to parallel universes quite accurately, I hated it. Yet, especially in the last chapter, he explains why this fact need not rid us of our humanity. In fact, despite the enormous scale of what's discussed, and the casual throwing around of numbers like 10^120, he argues more for our significance as a species and for our inherent human nature than the majority of the population. And he does it in a patient and explanatory manner. Do I believe or quite follow everything he has said? No, not necessarily. But, that certainly doesn't make it wrong and is much more to do with the fact that I need to know much more to arrive at a decision. But, I'd love to know more, or perhaps just return to the book having meditated on some of the ideas for a while and although I don't understand it all now, I can rest assured that this inspiration could quite possibly lead me to in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Huruey
    5/31/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking, inspiring, accessible"

    Prompts hours of thought and further reading. Tegmark tackles strange and abstract ideas in a very accessible way. The narration was great, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yomi
    UK
    4/21/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brilliant at first, but drops off a cliff after 6"

    Excellent intro to physics, the universe and even quantum physics, but the more speculative portions on parallel universes were too much for me

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Justummar
    2/21/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fascinating, very well read,"

    excellent narration, fascinating subject, the penultimate chapter is very intense and complex but every other chapter is superb

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fred
    11/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book that makes you think"

    I enjoyed the book. Some people may find it easier to digest in a written format.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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