Book Cover

Hiding in the Mirror

October 20, 2005

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Description

Beginning well before Plato’s allegory of the cave and continuing to modern scientific breakthroughs from relativity to quantum mechanics, as well as to pop cultural icons like Twilight Zone and Star Trek, human beings have imagined, even longed for, alternate realities. Lawrence M. Krauss, one of the most gifted and engaging of writer-scientists today, examines why we have often believed that the answers to the great questions about existence lie in the possibility that we live in a universe more complex than we can see or otherwise sense. Drawing on work by scientists, mathematicians, artists, and writers—from Einstein to Picasso to C. S. Lewis—Hiding in the Mirror explores whether extra dimensions simply represent abstract speculation or hold the key to a deeper understanding of the universe. Krauss examines popular culture’s embrace— and misunderstanding—of topics such as black holes, life in another dimension, string theory, and some of the daring new theories that propose that large extra dimensions exist alongside our own. This is popular science writing at its best and most illuminating—witty, fascinating, and controversial.

Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There are few scientific ideas as captivating as the notion that our universe might have other dimensions than the three (plus time) that we experience. Physicist Krauss offers an erudite and well-crafted overview of the role multiple dimensions have played in the history of physics. This isn’t an easy book, even with a writer as talented as Krauss (whom some will recognize as the author of The Physics of Star Trek and Beyond Star Trek) serving as one’s Virgil. Long on science and short on its connections with culture, the book is essentially an introduction to the physics and mathematics of extra dimensions with a few more or less disconnected chapters that touch on how these ideas show up in art and popular culture; there’s more on brane-world and the ekpyrotic universe than on Plato’s cave, whose inhabitants could not perceive reality in all its dimensions, or Buckaroo Banzai. Those who are willing to put in the requisite effort will be amply rewarded with a unique and impressive survey of scientists’ astonishing and evolving understanding of the nature of the universe in all its visible and hidden dimensions. (Oct. 24)
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From the Back Cover

“An astonishing and brilliantly written work of popular science.”
—Science a GoGo”A brilliant, thrilling book . . . You’ll have so much fun reading that you’ll hardly notice you’re getting a primer on contemporary physics and cosmology.”
—Walter Isaacson, author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life –This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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