Saturday, March 11, 2017

Book Review: On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton

I think all books on science topis fall in two categories. One, rather uncommon ones. Without formulae, equations or mathematics, where the author will have to take quite some effort to make sense to the reader. Two, quite common ones. Teeming with mathematical expressions, where the reader will have to take quite some pain to make sense of the author. And I am glad to say, 'On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton' by Erik Verlinde, belongs to the former.
It is about space and time. Which are hard to think about as an independent entity because they are the backdrop to all human experiences. Everything that exists exists somewhere, and nothing happens that does not happen at some time.
The book mentions of the need for a single theory that brings together the insights gained from relativity and quantum theory, which can be christened quantum gravity.
The geometry of the universe can be compared to the grammatical structure of a sentence. Just as a sentence has no structure and no existence apart from the relationships between the words, space has no existence apart from the relationships that hold between the things in the universe. This relationship, initially explained by Euclid, further corrected by Newton and amended totally by Einstein's General Relativity, is analyzed here, with gravity being seen as a major component.
Gravity, unlike its concept as a fundamental force with no real reason behind it, or as a conceptual force due distortion of space, is presented in this paper as a holographic force (force having no connection with any other entity) due changes in entropy (something associated with matter and its location).
This book, is about too inviting a topic, to be left to experts. I therefore feel, author could have take a little more time to explain the building blocks, especially the new ideas. For example, how entropy will manifest in the geometry of space.

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