Were ancient Greek philosophers right about reality being only an illusion? What was really the biggest blunder of Einstein's life? Is everything we've been taught about the universe incorrect? In The Unobservable Universe, visionary scientist and engineer Scott M. Tyson successfully unravels cosmology from the level of rocket science and brings it down to Earth, demystifying the universe in terms that laymen can comprehend and enjoy, splitting atoms but not hairs on this magical mystery tour of the outback of time and space.
Tapping nearly three millennia of scientific philosophy and drawing upon his three decades as a prolific researcher, brilliant scientist and inspiring writer, Tyson artfully deconstructs key misunderstandings that modern science inadvertently continues to embrace - unraveling the inconsistencies and paradoxes emerging from contemporary science and science philosophy, dissecting complex principles and debunking long-held premises with illustrative examples to expose vital new insights. His provocative theories, supported with pragmatic anecdotes and symbolic metaphors, translate quantum physics into a master blueprint for all cosmology readers to examine, explore and contemplate.
Tyson effectively illustrates the meaning of perceptions in a way that will prompt scientists to fundamentally rethink preconceived notions and consider new possibilities. He guides readers in a bold, new direction that provides a coherent framework in which they can truly understand the universe and the underlying Theory of Everything. Informative and illuminating, this groundbreaking book's lively style provides an enlightening and entertaining page-turner, laced with a brilliant combination of compelling theory, solid research, simple analogy, contagious enthusiasm and enough humor to break a smile on the faces of even the most serious cosmologists. Tyson propels readers toward a new state of thinking, with a greater awareness and understanding of the mysteries of the universe that more accurately reflects its truths and realities. As a benchmark for cosmology, The Unobservable Universe will forever change the way we look at our world.
Written in three weeks this is a hodge-podge of philosophy and misinterpreted history of science. There are no clear testable hypotheses. There are so many scientific misstatements it is hard to know where to start. I guess most importantly is the author???s repeated claim that the Copenhagen interpretation of QM states that things that are not measured don???t exist. What the CE of QM really says is ???No statement can be validly made about the unmeasured.??? This is because QM is not a model of the universe; it is a model of our measurement of the universe. The author (like many others) misstates the twin paradox. He proposes a faster than light communication method that is not well thought through (and would yield a breakdown of causality). He hints at harvesting vast energy from an unobservable parallel universe. He ???resolves??? the EPR paradox by referring to some kind of mysterious extra-dimensional adjacency, which is then not followed up. He depends upon QM, yet treats wave-functions as real, while QM explicitly does not. He does seem to consider, let alone challenge, potential weaknesses of his ideas; He glosses over entropy & causality issues, and his ???unification??? of General Relativity is too vague to be testable. Instead read Penrose???s ???Cycles of Time??? and Simolin???s ???The Trouble with Physics??? and Gilder???s ???The Age of Entanglement???. The only thing I found really interesting about this book is the human story behind the author writing the book.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
I give it a 4 star rating in spite of it's poor writing and reading by the author. The author compensates for his speaking and writing by making the story as if he's having a personal conversation with the listener. The book reads as if it was mostly written in 3 weeks time and it was since he mentions that in the book! Hint to author, if you write most of a book in three weeks and it reads like you did, don't let the reader know.
His main purpose of the book is to talk about his new theory of the universe which he says explains the paradoxes floating around modern day physics, the measurement problem, the double slit experiment and entanglement (spooky action at a distance). He quotes from the Richard Feyman's presentation in "Characteristics of Physical Law" lecture series where he says all the mysteries of physics are contained in the double slit experiment. If you haven't yet watched all seven episodes of the Feynman presentation,or if you haven't heard (or read) multiple sections on the paradoxes floating around in physics from Brian Greene, or Sean Carroll or other good authors multiple times elsewhere this book is definitely not for you since he doesn't really explain them nearly as well as most other authors do.
I give the author Kudos for leading with his chin. He criticizes the current science but gives a consistent frame work for fixing the paradoxes. Anybody can give criticism, but offering a fix is not so easy. The summation of his theory is that instead of Newtons 3rd law we have for every action in the our universe (the observer universe) there's a reaction in the void universe such that their product equals 1. He says this will lead the Theory of Everything. Well, do it and than tell me about it.
Carl Sagan used this quote,
"What is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas". I give the author credit for his new idea and he knows full well he's leading with his chin. I fault him greatly in his theory for only stating it, but offering no predictions of new phenomena deriving from it. Any body can state things and give consistency, but science requires predictive models.
This book is not for most readers and should only be bought by somebody who can get past the poor reading and poor writing and who is also bothered by the known paradoxes in physics and wants a possible explanation for them. By the way, David Deutsch's well written book "The Beginning of Infinity" offers such a theory inside his book and is much more entertaining.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Scott M. Tyson and/or Scott M. Tyson?
No. I was hoping for a book along the lines of A Short History of Nealy Everything. but that is NOT what this book is about. Instead, it is the rather belicose tale of Scott M. Tyson and how he has taken on the scientific community.
What could Scott M. Tyson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Acutally make the book worth the description. THis is one book I would really like my money back on.
What didn’t you like about Scott M. Tyson’s performance?
Annoying voice, almost plaintiff. Constantly trying to pump himself up rather than get on with the book.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
No, although the completely over the top, hilarity of the "publishers' review of the Scott M. Tyson transcript will go down in the annals of most overblown expectations ever. Why we had to sit through that must be becasue Scott loves to hear it. Nothing short of all publishing of books regarding science were supposed to stop based on this "breakthrough" book. Pure pap. I would have been embarrassed to have my mother write that chapter, much less include it in the book proper. .
6 of 7 people found this review helpful