One of the paradoxes of the physical sciences is that as our knowledge has progressed, more and more diverse physical phenomena can be explained in terms of fewer underlying laws, or principles. In Hidden Unity, eminent physicist John Taylor puts many of these findings into historical perspective and documents how progress is made when unexpected, hidden unities are uncovered between apparently unrelated physical phenomena. Taylor cites examples from the ancient Greeks to the present day, such as the unity of celestial and terrestrial dynamics (17th century), the unity of heat within the rest of dynamics (18th century), the unity of electricity, magnetism, and light (19th century), the unity of space and time and the unification of nuclear forces with electromagnetism (20th century). Without relying on mathematical detail, Taylor's emphasis is on fundamental physics, like particle physics and cosmology. Balancing what is understood with the unestablished theories and still unanswered questions, Taylor takes readers on a fascinating ongoing journey. John C. Taylor is Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge. A student of Nobel laureate Abdus Salam, Taylor's research career has spanned the era of developments in elementary particle physics since the 1950s. He taught theoretical physics at Imperial College, London, and at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and he has lectured worldwide. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.
'Are you lost in modern theoretical physics? Do you need help with understanding squarks, selectrons, photinos? Or do you require quidance on the subject of the Higgs particle? Perhaps you need a hint as to the meaning of quintessence in cosmology? If any of these apply, then this is the book for you ... an undoubted success ... many worthwhile ideas are expounded here which even a newcomer to physics could understand. I strongly recommend this book.' Peter Landsberg, Nature 'What makes this book extremely valuable is that the author has succeeded in adhering to his geometric approach throughout, starting with Galileo and ending with Ed Witten and Stephen Hawking.' Gerald 't Hooft, Physics World '... provides excellent insight into recent developments in physics ...'. P. H. Borcherds, European Journal of Physics 'This book covers a vast expanse of physics and is a genuine tour de force for its insights and intellectual honesty. This is an exceptional book by an exceptional physicist.' Times Higher Education Supplement