A leading theoretical physicist describes the search for a ‘theory of everything’.
The Holy Grail of modern physics is the search for a ‘quantum gravity’ view of the universe that unites Einstein’s general relativity with quantum theory. Until recently, these two foundational pillars of modern science have seemed incompatible: relativity deals exclusively with the universe at the large scale (planets, solar systems and galaxies), whereas quantum theory is restricted to the domain of the very small (molecules, atoms, electrons). Here, Lee Smolin provides the first accessible overview of current attempts to reconcile these two theories.
Written with wit and style, Three Roads to Quantum Gravity touches on some of the deepest questions about the nature of the universe – are space and time continuous or infinitely divisible? Is there a limit to how small things can be? – while speculating on what developments we can expect at the frontiers of physics in the twenty-first century.