Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Slow Crooked Road to Reality

I have made it to page 383 of Roger Penroseā€™s physics text The Road to Reality. Page 383 is where the physics starts and the beginning of the chapter titled Spacetime. That means I have only 667 pages left before finishing the book.

Penrose begins at square one and presents all the mathematics you need to understand the mathematical physics in the latter part of the book. I was acquainted with most of the mathematics Penrose presents in the first part. All the same, I found it rough going. In fact, I need to review key sections of the first part to test my understanding before plunging into the rest of the book.

The book is too difficult for my limited talent. However, something about studying the book borders on a mystical experience. I feel as though a few pieces of a grand puzzle are falling into place.

The subtitle of the book claims it is a complete guide to the laws the universe. I do not lament the fact the laws of the universe are obscure and difficult to understand. After all, I did not create the thing, and I take no responsibility for its persnickety ways.


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