This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Physics Nobel Laureate Tony Leggett. The basis of this conversation is Tony Leggett’s book The Problems of Physics and further explores the insightful plain-speaking itemization that he developed of the physics landscape according to four basic categories—the very small (particle physics), the very large (cosmology), the very complex (condensed matter physics) and the very unclear (foundations of quantum theory)—while providing a thoughtful follow-up analysis from a contemporary perspective to assess how much progress we’ve made and which mysteries remain or have come on the scene since the book was published.
This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, The Gentleman Laureate, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:
I. Back to the Future - Setting the Stage
II. The Very Small - Much the same
III. The Very Large - Cosmology
IV. A Glassy Digression - The perils of affirming the consequent
V. The Very Complex - Condensed matter physics meets quantum information
VI. Understanding - What it actually means
VII. Different Regimes - Nature’s Scales
VIII. Schrödinger’s Cat - Different domains?
IX. The Slings and Arrows of Time - Irreversible?
X. The Anthropic Principle - Better left unsaid?
XI. The Future of Physics - From Louis Armstrong to topological quantum computing
About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series:
This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert in a focused yet informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks. For other books in this series visit our website: https://ideasroadshow.com/