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Please recommend books for layperson?

  1. Nov 13, 2007 #1
    Please recommend books for layperson??

    Hello please, I am want to do amazon.com order and am after some good non-mathematical (or beginner level maths) books about space, time, dimensions, topology, the new loop quantum gravity etc etc. Books for the well-read layperson like myself! But I want new state-of-the-art stuff, brand new theories happening now, not yesterday's happenings. And well written for the "non-scientist" - ie so I can "picture" the concepts in my head without too much advnaced maths. I do not know much beyond high school maths, and that was many years ago. Do I need to learn more maths? Is there a good maths primer for this sort of subject?


    What about Jeffrey Weeks "The Shape of Space"?
    Lee Smolin "3 Roads To Quantum Gravity"?
    Lisa Randall "Warped Passages"?
    Paul Halpern "The Great Beyond"?

    ...Things like that.

    Thanking you,
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2007 #2
  4. Nov 13, 2007 #3


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    Welcome to PF, squidley! Plenty of free stuff on the www to consider as well - including this well regarded source:

  5. Nov 14, 2007 #4

    Chris Hillman

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    But you understand that to try to read about the current frontiers, you need to know something about past achievements, correct?

    In that spirit, if you haven't read these yet I urge you to begin with them:

    Weinberg, First Three Minutes.

    Geroch, General Relativity from A to B.

    And ditto Ned Wright's website (as a supplement to book reading).

    After that you can try Weeks, Shape of Space and then the other books you mentioned. Happy reading!
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  6. Nov 14, 2007 #5
    While somewhat out of date now, if you want an understandable background, try Ed Harrisons's book, "Cosmology" first published in 1981. You can pick up a used copy in great condition on the internet or Amazon for about $10.-$15 The math is secondary to the explanations - it is comprehensible but not trivial - it reads like a novel.
  7. Nov 14, 2007 #6


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  8. Nov 15, 2007 #7
    I appreciate all your replies & thank you!

    I have just submitted my (big) book order with amazon :tongue2: !! (I incl. the Weinberg, Geroch, Smolin, & Steinhardt & Turok books! Plus others!)

    Yes I know Ned Wright's excellent website, however I need some light reading for when travelling on the train to work !

    Thank you all again for your great recommendations.
  9. Nov 15, 2007 #8
  10. Nov 16, 2007 #9
    As far as popular science goes, I have trouble not recomending either of Brian Greene's books. In your case, The Fabric of the Cosmos particularly.
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