Overview: An excellent primer on the various current theories of possible multiple universes and explanations of how they have arisen through scientific, mathematic, and psychological principles.
In More Detail
If you enjoy reading books that try to explain science on a layman’s level, then you might want to consider this book. Especially, if you have a fairly basic understanding of physics and/or have read other significant books in this genre such as Stephen Hawking’s excellent book A Brief History of Time If you would like to get your feet wet in the understanding of the physics of the universe, but don’t have any current knowledge, then I would recommend starting there first.
This book covers a LOT of ground. I consider myself fairly well versed in physics in a broader sense having always found that science quite interesting. Even following the field to some degree, it’s easy to get “behind.” The Hidden Reality really did an excellent job of capturing my interest and discussing the topic at hand: multiple universe (multiverse) theories.
Most of us have some idea of “parallel universes” based on science fiction television/movies or books. But this book covers 7 wildly different multiverse theories: The Quilted Multiverse, Inflationary Multiverse, Brane Multiverse, Cyclic Multiverse, Landscape Multiverse, Quantum Multiverse, Holographic Multiverse, Simulated Multiverse, and the Ultimate Multiverse. I knew of the existence of several of these theories, but none to the level of detail that I learned in the book.
Even if you have little understanding of physics, Greene does spend several chapters giving a basic rundown of the physics involved or required for the understanding of several of these. I found these chapters to be quite interesting and worthwhile, for the most part. These specific chapters explain in basic language (and without any math required) classical mechanics, relativity, string theory (several different string theories, actually), Inference and Quantum Probability.
Special Note on Physics & Christianity:
There are a lot of people who automatically think that you cannot possibly be a Christian and read about this stuff. It comes from both sides of the fence (both from Christians and non-Christian physicists). Many, but by no means all, physicists are atheists or agnostics. I don’t believe this has to be the case. Personally, I believe that God created the physics of the universe. As physicists and other scientists learn more bout “how things work” they are learning more about the laws of physics that God has created. Truly nothing in all of physics “disproves” God. Physicists aren’t even trying to do that. They are just trying to get to the basics of how things work. This benefits all of mankind. It’s why we have cell phones, satellite & cable TV, high-speed wireless internet, microwaves, lasers, computers and nuclear power.
More Like This
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension by Michio Kaku
Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku
Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson
The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theoryby Brian Greene
(and just about anything else by Green, Kaku, or Hawking that isn’t published in a scientific journal)