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11+ Works 3,322 Members 56 Reviews 8 Favorited

About the Author

Lee Smolin is a theoretical physicist who is a founding and senior faculty member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is the author of five books, including The Trouble with Physics and Time Reborn.

Includes the names: Lee Smolin, Ли Смолин

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Works by Lee Smolin

Associated Works

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2008) — Contributor — 804 copies
The New Humanists: Science at the Edge (2003) — Contributor — 230 copies

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Smolin neatly explains properties the theory of everything must have and the logical necessities of having the observer be a part of the system (Topos logic?). And this is the first thing in my (limited) reading stating that both time and space are quantized. Spin networks which describe spacetime as graphs is also worth digging into.
 
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Castinet | 8 other reviews | Dec 11, 2022 |
From my perspective as an engineer with a PhD who never found a place in the "establishment" (R1 university, national lab), any critical take on academic science is sorely necessary. I know this isn't an ivory tower takedown as much as a critique on physics research in general, but I found it great, even though it's 16 years old.

While I'm not sure exactly how physics research has advanced in those 16 years (other than the experimental evidence of the Higgs Boson, which I feel like most people are aware of), my intuition leads me to believe that the beauty and elegance of string theory / theories have not advanced our understanding of the universe any more than it had when the book was first published. An updated edition with an additional chapter would be great for those of us not keeping up with scientific advances in the field.

Generally a great look into a theory I've always been deeply skeptical of, and a scientific system that is deeply flawed. You definitely do not need any physics background to read this book, although basic physics knowledge would likely make it much more approachable. I appreciated Smolin's ability to make the topic accessible.

Bonus: if you want to make this book into a drinking game, take a shot every time the author says something to the effect of "I have nothing but the utmost respect for my colleagues in string theory, but..." (At one point I laughed out loud when the version of this statement was along the lines of "but some of my best friends are string theorists!")
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lemontwist | 27 other reviews | Mar 28, 2022 |
As usual I didn't manage to follow all of it - and as usual it didn't matter to my satisfaction with the book. I learned a lot here and there and although I'm not a convert yet, I love the ideas of self-organization and natural selection. My biggest failing is maybe not understanding the guage principle but there were a lot of other brilliant ideas I did grasp a bit. Rotation forces (or the lack of them) in an otherwise empty universe, inertia and energy flows. And I've fallen in love with galaxies.... got to find out more.… (more)
 
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Ma_Washigeri | 8 other reviews | Jan 23, 2021 |

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