Existential Physics by Sabine Hossenfelder [8/10]

As a failed mathematician who once read about the mysteries of modern physics, I was drawn to “Existential Physics: A Scientist’s Guide to Life’s Biggest Questions” by the promise of life insights from that exalted discipline. And Sabine Hossenfelder, a German theoretical physicist, gets to work from the start with topics I can recall as baffling way back when. Taking great pains to distinguish what science can prove from more philosophical positions (and here it turns out not only religious advocates and philosophers have views but also countless physicists and mathematicians themselves), she resolutely and clearly explains and analyzes and concludes about …. well, about the tricky shit, such as quantum mechanics, the nature of time, multiverses, soul/mind, free will, the Big Bang/end, and more. On one of the key topics, she shifted my view altogether (to be fair, a friend had primed me, but I had not been quite ready), and each fascinating chapter contains elucidations as educative as any I’ve seen. Employing a dazzling, forward style dotted with casual humor, the author teaches, opines, and wraps up. Existential Physics is, plainly, not for everyone, but if it has any appeal at all to you, it will catapult you on an exhilarating journey, that I guarantee. Wonderful.

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