*Review by Tiago Hands, 04/05/2019 @ 09:37 hrs, UK time
What I must admit is that it is the deepest physics book I’ve read so far (really Alice in Wonderland stuff). First of all, it isn’t a light read. The book contains 336 pages with text that is quite small. Secondly, Lee Smolin discusses topics related to black holes within black holes, universes within universes, and universes giving birth to other universes. The hypothesis called ‘cosmological natural selection‘ is really mind blowing.
I think that if this book had included complex mathematics (light years ahead), I wouldn’t have been able to reach its end. I had to return John D Barrow’s ‘The Book of Universes’ to the library pretty early – because at one point it became impossible to read. Thankfully, in ‘The Life of the Cosmos’ , Lee Smolin put his ideas forward using simple English and detailed explanations (also very simple mathematics) – allowing me to comprehend around 65-70% of what he was trying to convey. Remember, I am no theoretical physicist or mathematical genius.
If you are interested in the birth of our universe, the birth and death of stars, general and special relativity, black holes, the fine tuned laws of physics, the anthropic principle, quantum gravity, entropy and the holographic principle, you won’t be disappointed with what is inside this book. Be warned though, it will literally turn your brain into a simulation engine, as after reading it, you will be asking yourself new questions about the universe – and also thinking about what the universe would have been like if circumstances were different.