This is arguably the most important work of science, aimed at the general reader, to be published in living memory.
This 1000-page guide to the universe aims to provide a comprehensive account of our present understanding of the physical universe, and the essentials of its underlying mathematical theory. It attempts to convey an overall understanding - a feeling for the deep beauty and philosophical connotations of the subject, as well as of its intricate logical interconnections.
Clearly, a work of this nature is challenging, but no particular mathematical knowledge on the part of the reader is assumed, the early chapters providing the essential mathematical background for the physical theories described in the remainder of the book.
There is also enough descriptive material to carry the less mathematically inclined reader through, as well as some 450-500, mostly hand-drawn, figures. The book provides a feeling for all the key issues and deep current controversies, and counters the common complaint that cutting-edge science is fundamentally inaccessible.
Topics covered include numbers and geometry in physics; the ideas and magic of calculus; notions of infinity; relativity theory; quantum mechanics; particle physics; cosmology; the big bang; black holes; the second law of thermodynamics; string and M theory; loop quantum gravity; twisters; fashions in science.