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Something Deeply Hidden

Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime
Narrated by: Sean Carroll
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
5 out of 5 stars (80 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of Publishers Weekly’s Most Anticipated Books of the Fall

"Deftly unmasks quantum weirdness to reveal a strange but utterly wondrous reality." (Brian Greene)

As you listen to these words, copies of you are being created. Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist and one of this world’s most celebrated writers on science, rewrites the history of 20th century physics. Already hailed as a masterpiece, Something Deeply Hidden shows for the first time that facing up to the essential puzzle of quantum mechanics utterly transforms how we think about space and time. His reconciling of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity changes, well, everything. Most physicists haven’t even recognized the uncomfortable truth: Physics has been in crisis since 1927.

Quantum mechanics has always had obvious gaps - which have come to be simply ignored. Science popularizers keep telling us how weird it is, how impossible it is to understand. Academics discourage students from working on the "dead end" of quantum foundations. Putting his professional reputation on the line with this audacious yet entirely reasonable book, Carroll says that the crisis can now come to an end. We just have to accept that there is more than one of us in the universe. There are many, many Sean Carrolls. Many of every one of us.

Copies of you are generated thousands of times per second. The Many Worlds Theory of quantum behavior says that every time there is a quantum event, a world splits off with everything in it the same, except in that other world the quantum event didn't happen. Step-by-step in Carroll's uniquely lucid way, he tackles the major objections to this otherworldly revelation until his case is inescapably established.

Rarely does a book so fully reorganize how we think about our place in the universe. We are on the threshold of a new understanding - of where we are in the cosmos, and what we are made of.

©2019 Sean Carroll (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Readers in this universe (and others?) will relish the opportunity to explore the frontiers of science in the company of titans." (Booklist)

"Fans of popular science authors such as Neil deGrasse Tyson and John Gribbin will find great joy while exploring these groundbreaking concepts." (Library Journal)

"[A] challenging, provocative book...moving smoothly through different topics and from objects as small as particles to those as enormous as black holes, Carroll’s exploration of quantum theory introduces readers to some of the most groundbreaking ideas in physics today." (Publishers Weekly)

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For Sale: Many Worlds, Gently Used

Dr Carroll is our generation’s preeminent physics explainer. He does not disappoint in this latest book. In particular, his vector analogy of the wave function - wherein measurements we can make (position, velocity, etc.) are as vector components of the sum total of reality at any given moment - is very satisfying. Sean pulls off similar magic in elucidating “random” radioactive decay as our measured view of what is really a *deterministic* evolution of superposed un-decayed plus decayed wave function states. Ironically, there is a lot of poetry in what Dr Carroll refers to as austere quantum mechanics, or AQM.

AQM is Dr Carroll’s quick re-branding of Many Worlds. None of this re-branding or wonderful explanation, however, has me convinced of the Many Worlds interpretation. This is because I believe there is a better explanation. Dr Carroll does compare Many Worlds to other theories here, and I do agree Many Worlds is indeed superior to the other theories presented in this book. But he does not consider theories for which the wave function is neither ontologically real, *nor* epistemic, which are nevertheless complete in themselves. In particular, Relational Quantum Mechanics (RQM) asks us to consider quantum interactions (measurements) as real, such that the wave function is relegated to a “theoretical account of the way distinct physical systems affect one another when they interact (and not of the way physical systems ‘are’)” [Laudisa, Federico and Rovelli, Carlo, "Relational Quantum Mechanics", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy].

In the end, walking away from this book without the Many Worlds is ok. Dr Carroll was never really selling them anyway. He only ever wanted us to take this journey with him, and take it seriously. And that I would do many, many times over.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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The Best Layperson Book on Quantum Physics

The only bad thing about this book is the title- It should really just be called "Understanding Quantum Physics". I have read several books on the subject before and have always been disappointed by the confused explanations found in popular books on this subject. This book is categorically better than any previous book I've encountered.

The first three chapters are key: Chapter 1 explains why this stuff is so damn confusing and why the usual explanations are so unsatisfying. Chapter 2 then describes the bare-metal math of quantum physics (the Schrödinger equation) and explains the ramifications of this formula when all other complexities are stripped away, so you can really understand "what's going on". Chapter 3 then recontextualizes the history of quantum theory, all the personalities and experiments of the 20th Century, in light of the Schrödinger equation. This ordering is so smart, because this theory was conceived through a series of haphazard scientific discoveries that really need to be discussed separately from the theory itself, and Dr. Carroll's book does this brilliantly.

After these initial sections, the book dives into more cutting-edge, speculative ideas, which are also a great read- But in my opinion, the early sections of this book are the main attraction & are a great read for anyone interested in science.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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An honest and humble look at fundamental physics

Couldn't stop listening when I started. The most honest description of physics I've heard In a while. Also really nice to atlast get a physics book on something new and not just rehashing the same old stories

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Such clear explanations

Sean Carroll has such an amazing ability to take very complex topics and explain them in English. The last couple of chapters got a bit hard to follow but the rest was great

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An excellent spin.

This book is an excellent look into the complexities of quantum mechanics. Written at the perfect level between "impossible to understand" and "condescending" A truly enjoyable read.

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  • J
  • 09-22-19

Interesting

personally I do not feel this is Sean carroll's best work, but his humor does seep through leading to a good entertaining light mood in some of his main heavier points. Based off of the fundamentals of the book, he does awnser and performs well with his main topics, so its hard to rate this to low. For me it almost seemed like he was trying very heard to live up to the main topics, and might have used a few to many theoretical views to make his opinions sound as logical as possible. he did touch quantum gravity with grace in my opinion in this book, but if you want a really really good Sean Carroll book for your first look into his literature I would suggest "From eternity to Here" then compare it to his newest works such as this. personally I do find this book is a good read, and it's great for quantum fans alike and still worth a good listen too.

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I dig Carroll's balance of humility and genius.

Although careful to speak with diplomatic grace, Carroll pushes through and past the illogical and troublesome and willful resistance of scientists to delve into the foundations of quantum mechanics.

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Job Well Done

Sean is pleasant to listen to and makes the subject (probably) as clear as humanly possible, but I'm going to have to listen to this book again. I wish he would have left some of the math out at times, but maybe it was necessary. It's a good book and I'm thankful Sean is sharing. Quantum Mechanics is awesomely thought provoking. If you're thinking of buying, I'd say yeah

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another A+

what can I say....Sean is an amazing speaker and makes the hardest concepts easy to learn/understand.

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Its pretty good but missing information

If you are interested in this type of information. A more complete understanding can be found by researching Nassim Haramein and The Resonance Science Foundation. Research the The Schwarzschild Proton

0 of 1 people found this review helpful