I’m about 100 pages into Roger Penrose’s huge (1000+ pages) new book, The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe. Marketed to the general public, it promises to give an overview – with equations! – of our current understanding of the laws of the Universe.
It’s not exactly a typical popular science book, containing detailed discussions of topics like the Cauchy-Riemann equations, differential forms, fibre bundles, gauge theories, and so on, with Penrose going into quite some detail.
I’m not sure how much the book’s purported audience – the general public – will get out of it. It’s rather detailed in places, with lots of equations, and definitions of complicated and abstract mathematical objects. I’m perhaps somewhat too close to the subject matter to trust my own judgement on the extent to which he succeeds in spinning an interesting and coherent story for the lay reader.
Even with that caveat, though, I greatly admire Penrose’s chutzpah in making the attempt to tell this story in a way that is widely accessible.
I’m certainly finding the book interesting. Even in the early parts of the book, which cover (relatively) elementary stuff, I’m picking up useful tidbits of knowledge and perspectives. I suspect many of my millions… er, tens… of readers will enjoy it also.
Here’s the link to amazon.co.uk. The book doesn’t appear to be out yet in the US.