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Roger Penrose

The large, the small and the human mind

Roger Penrose is well known for his work on singularities in General relativity, and more recently for his controversial ideas about quantum theory and the mind, as described in his books 'The Emperors New Mind' and 'Shadows of the Mind'. However those books are long and somewhat intimidating for the novice. This is a shorter book dealing with these ideas. One thing I noticed is that Penrose is very skillful in getting a lot of material into a short book, with good use of diagrams. The first chapter is about cosmology, the second about quantum mechanics. These make an excellent non-technical introduction to these subjects.

The third chapter concerns Penrose's more controversial ideas, bringing in Godels theorem, artificial intelligence and non-periodic tiling, which and makes an entertaining read, even if you don't believe the claims. The first three chapters make up the bulk of the book. At the end there are comments on Penrose's ideas from Abner Shimony, Nancy Cartwright and Stephen Hawking and a reply to these comments from Penrose. This last section is somewhat different in style from the rest, comprising mostly philosophical discussions.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 224 pages  
ISBN: 0521785723
Salesrank: 505091
Weight:0.81 lbs
Published: 2000 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price $15.73
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 224 pages  
ISBN: 0521785723
Salesrank: 344721
Weight:0.81 lbs
Published: 2000 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price £19.99
Marketplace:New from £15.21:Used from £0.01
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 224 pages  
ISBN: 0521785723
Salesrank: 500652
Weight:0.81 lbs
Published: 2000 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price CDN$ 24.70
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 24.70:Used from CDN$ 0.01
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Product Description
Roger Penrose's views on the large-scale physics of the Universe, the small-scale world of quantum physics and the physics of the mind are controversial and widely discussed. This book is a fascinating and accessible summary of Roger Penrose's current thinking on those areas of physics in which he feels there are major unresolved problems. It is also a stimulating introduction to the radically new concepts that he believes will be fruitful in understanding the workings of the brain and the nature of the human mind.