View Full Version : Discussion: Book Review: The Road to Reality

2005-May-16, 06:56 PM
SUMMARY: Knowledge keeps on growing. In early times, like the cavemen era, people put their hands near fire and understood 'hot'. Today spinning photons bring a new perspective to information transfer. Roger Penrose in his book, The Road to Reality associates state of the art observations with near magical acts of mathematics to bring to us a very thorough yet readable guide to understanding both the micro and large scale structures and occurrences about us.

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2005-May-16, 09:34 PM
Perhaps readers of this new work have also read "The Emperor's New Mind" by the same author (I have a Vintage Press 1990 paper back copy). Before I spend $25 + does anyone know what the new book offers that was NOT in the old one? in "The Emperor's New Mind" Roger did a great job of exposing the faults in QED, point particles, and Quantum Theory in general. We need more authors like Dr. Penrose. I have found him great at explaining where we are in our understanding of the great reality question of the day. In 1990 he wanted to find a new theory to improve on Quantum Theory. Is there any hint that he has advanced toward this goal in the new book? :unsure:

2005-May-21, 11:26 AM
Just finished a first pass through these very enjoyable 1050 pages. A great primer, especially for those of us who may spend too much time lurking half-baked in UTF->S+A->Alt.Theories.

I found especially valuable the way Dr Penrose makes accessible so much of the foundation necessary for building mathematical descriptions of physical interactions. Familiarity with these standard concepts and jargon not only helps us communicate with interested forumites, but also to hold up one end of a conversation with tolerant specialists!

It does not take long to sense Dr Penrose's enthusiasm for the role and power ("magic!") of complex numbers. Given that he has developed twistor theory so successfully using this restricted (2d, "complex") algebra and calculus, I wonder if twistor theory is one of those branches that might benefit from a full geometric treatment:


I would recommend this book to bright upstarts, keen to contribute to the making of mathematical models, but who lack the necessary mathematical background to engage modern physics.

They will, however, require stamina, and good eye-sight.