From the Royal Society Winton Prize winner
‘An authoritative and beautifully written account of the quest to understand quantum theory and the origin of space and time.’ Professor Brian Cox
Quantum physics is not mystifying. The implications are mind-bending, and not yet fully understood, but this revolutionary theory is truly illuminating. It stands as the best explanation of the fundamental nature of our world.
Spanning the history of quantum discoveries, from Einstein and Bohr to the present day, Something Deeply Hidden is the essential guide to the most intriguing subject in science. Acclaimed physicist and writer Sean Carroll debunks the myths, resurrects and reinstates the Many-Worlds interpretation, and presents a new path towards solving the apparent conflict between quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of general relativity. In doing so, he fills a gap in the science that has existed for almost a century.
A magisterial tour, Something Deeply Hidden encompasses the cosmological and everyday implications of quantum reality and multiple universes. And – finally – it all makes sense.
Theoretical physicist Carroll (The Big Picture) explores holes in the foundation of modern physics in this challenging, provocative book. Quantum mechanics is, according to Carroll, "the deepest, most comprehensive view of reality we know of." But while it answers questions about how the universe works at the microscopic level, quantum theory still, nearly 100 years after its introduction, has unresolved issues. Albert Einstein disdained quantum mechanics as "spooky" and said it would never be complete, and so far, Carroll says, he's been right. Carroll presents his argument with words rather than math, striving to make even the most abstract ideas clear. At the heart of his discussion are equations called "wave functions" that describe the real world. The problem is that wave functions have many possible solutions and each describes a branch, or another reality, in spacetime. Carroll gives a sense of both the frustration and the wonder that the many-worlds theory inspires, and what it implies about free will and human consciousness. 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. This review has been updated with more precise language regarding wave functions.