Review of 'The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality'

The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality by Dave Goldberg

the_universe_in_the_rearview_mirror.jpg In “The Universe in the Rearview Mirror” Professor Dave Goldberg, a cosmologist from Drexel University in Philadelphia (USA) introduces and derives the various cosmological symmetries in nature explaining along the way the fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics, the Higgs particle and the latest thoughts on a “Grand Unified Theory”. Goldberg has an excellent way of describing the various complicated concepts he introduces here including amusing pop cultural references (mostly geeky such as Star Trek) and a number of helpful diagrams. He largely manages to avoid formula though E = mc2 does, of course, make an appearance and has direct applicability to much that is discussed. The book explores the history of modern cosmology and how our understanding of the universe has changed…and why.

The last chapter ties up the entire conversation by talking about problems with the standard model of physics that we currently have but is at pains to point out how these problems might be addressed in the future while fully admitting we may have absolutely no clue what is going on!

Though this book is quite easy to read I found myself getting lost quite often making reading quite slow (I could only take one chapter in a sitting). It was just tying to get my head around what was being said, following the logic as it is presented. I feel quite bad about this but some of the topics are just so esoteric and rely on a memory much better than my own. Having said that, I did learn a lot and now have a much better understanding of a number of the topics that I was previously only slightly familiar with.

A great introduction to modern cosmological thought…I only wish I could follow it all!

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2021-11-06

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 2004

ISBN: 9780142181041