Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

Max Tegmark, Author
Max Tegmark. Knopf, $30 (464p) ISBN 978-0-307-599803
Reviewed on: 09/30/2013
Release date: 01/07/2014
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-307-74425-8
Open Ebook - 397 pages - 978-0-385-35049-5
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-14-197014-1
Hardcover - 421 pages - 978-1-84614-476-9
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Theoretical physicist Tegmark takes readers on an illuminating trip through cutting edge cosmology to one of the strangest ideas in a field overflowing with them: that our universe isn’t just described by math, it may actually be made out of it. Since Galileo first proclaimed nature to be “a book written in the language of mathematics,” physicists have used math to describe everything from motion to the shape of space-time itself. Tegmark explains how the discovery that the universe was expanding supported the concept of a “Big Bang” origin. Subsequent news that the expansion of our universe is actually accelerating led cosmologists to the idea that it may be just one of many universes within a vast multiverse. Tegmark offers a fascinating exploration of multiverse theories, each one offering new ways to explain “quantum weirdness” and other mysteries that have plagued physicists, culminating in the idea that our physical world is “a giant mathematical object” shaped by geometry and symmetry. Tegmark’s writing is lucid, enthusiastic, and outright entertaining, a thoroughly accessible discussion leavened with anecdotes and the pure joy of a scientist at work. Agents: John and Max Brockman, Brockman Inc. (Jan.)
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