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nkunka

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I like big books.

Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics

Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (Perennial Classics) - Gary Zukav In two words: Hippy Physics. Zukav published this manuscript in the 1970s and it really shows. Quantum theory was just coming into it's own and American exploration with mysticism and the philosophies of the East may have seemed like a perfect pair at the time. Some aspects of the comparison are compellingly coincidental I'd say, and there are times where Zukav tries to hard. In particular, I think the Taoist, and to a lesser extent, the Buddhist comparisons are the richest.

But this is by no means the focus of the book. Religion seems to play an anecdotal role in this general outline of the state of physics in the 1970s. Zukav does an admirable job visualizing things that defy visualization and does a very good job at explaining complex physical experiments and quantum behavior with rich historical references scattered throughout. An overarching theme of the book is how reality defies symbolic expression, especially at the higher levels of physics to which we seem to be progressing. It seemed in the 70s that we'd eventually hit a wall where language fails us. On the surface, this seems true as most of the modern work in physics seems to have abandoned the conventions of English and elevated to the realm of pure mathematics. But there are a host of modern popular physics authors who have defied this convention quite nicely, most notably Brian Greene and Michio Kaku.

A good book for students of physics and of logic in general, when taken with the proper dose of historical context.