My Copy: 9780385477819 (image from bn.com)
I’ve always wanted to understand science better, and I’ve been impressed with Michio Kaku’s approach to explaining it in documentaries and whatnot. I had to tackle his explanations in book form, and began with this one.
Beyond Einstein gives more than the theory of relativity that we’ve been used to seeing beside Einstein’s name (and gives a more complete explanation of it and its importance to physics). Not many people are aware that Einstein continued working on the heavy questions regarding the universe til the day he died.
And how that made him one of hundreds trying to find the answer to the mysteries of the universe.
The book goes through the various theories as they’ve come up through history and the science behind them, the problems with the theories as they’ve cropped up, and also the reaction of the scientific community when they tried to come to the light of day.
Now, I think the science aspect was a bit beyond me (history major and all), but I think it still gives a good insight into the questions of the universe and how they’ve evolved. I think what struck me most is the dedication of these scientists over the centuries, and how through either ignorance, arrogance, or sheer fluke some discoveries never saw daylight…or saw it only after many years.
I think this shows how human we are: whatever challenges our cozy view of things must be explained away or ignored, but sometimes there’s enough to make it persevere. That’s what I like about science–you keep on going no matter what and do your best.
This is the first Michio Kaku book I’ve read, but won’t be the last–I have half a dozen more to put back on the shelf right now. Maybe with a bit more science under my belt I can delve further, but it wasn’t a bad introduction to Dr. Kaku. Worth a look, especially if you love science.