The Elegant Universe (宇宙的琴弦)

很精彩的讲超弦理论的科普书,400页。我很想说的是这句 - “Human being is standing on the cross road of science and faith.“。新世纪以来,互联网的超常规,超速发展,使我们产生了一种错觉,误以为人类的一切基础学科,对宇宙的理解,对自身的理解,也都同步迅猛发展者,其实没有 - 人类历史最大的对撞机LHC几乎一无所获 ,肿瘤依旧是困扰人类的恶魔 - 这些领域,需要更多注意力,更多研究资金。

第一遍看下来,大概理解了7-8成,狭义,广义相对论,量子力学以及微观下例子的怪诞表现,因为有点基础(源于那本曹天元的神书“骰子“),所以看的比较轻松。不容易的一点是,对于那些超对称,超伙伴,弦的旋转,环绕,原来只是模糊听过名字,作者都能阐述清除,最最不容易的是,他竟然把10维空间里高维度如何curl在低维里给讲清除了,所以现在再提11维时空,我听着,也竟是完全不怵。在这些相对比较枯燥的弦论后,最后聊的是黑洞,还有对宇宙的终极思考,脑洞大开。

此书对人类认识宇宙的态度,值得一提 -

不妄自菲薄 - 我们虽圄于宇宙一角,却能对大大的宇宙的神秘能有一窥

It is truly inspiring that beings confined to one planet orbiting a run-of-the-mill star in the far edges of a fairly ordinary galaxy have been able, through thought and experiment, to ascertain and comprehend some of the most mysterious characteristics of the physical universe.

也不盲目自信 - 书的最后,作者也道出了,也许“科学解释是有它的极限的“,有些规则也许是'divine choice'

"Maybe we have to accept that after reaching the deepest possible level of understanding science can offer, there will nevertheless be aspects of the universe that remain unexplained. Maybe we ** will have to accept that certain features of the universe are the way they are because of happenstance, accident, or divine choice**. The success of the scientific method in the past has encouraged us to think that with enough time and effort we can unravel nature's mysteries. But hitting the absolute limit of scientific explanation—not a technological obstacle or the current but progressing edge of human understanding—would be a singular event, one for which past experience could not prepare us."

另外,作者Greene不但物理学大牛,也能演戏,他曾在《生活大爆炸》中(episode "The Herb Garden Germination") 客串推销他的书,也曾担当那部丹泽尔华盛顿《Déjà Vu》的科学顾问。

BTW, 此本的中文叫《宇宙的琴弦》,看过几章,翻译的不错的。

相关推荐 - 《Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension》by Michio Kaku 类似内容的科普,据陈比这本更容易懂,没看过。

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