Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there.
The average person’s understanding of the scientific properties of the universe is lacking. In some cases, an individual might develop a curiosity about the sciences and read beginner and introductory books by physicists like Richard Feynman, astrophysicist Carl Sagan, or theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. At first, the thoughts and theories in the introductions and early chapters of works from these legendary scientists might seem easy to comprehend. But then, confusion and frustration set in as too many concepts are introduced and readers become lost in arcane sounding scientific jargon and advanced mathematical equations. Their curiosity is dampened by discombobulation and the onset of boredom. Thankfully, John Chamber’s book, The Physics of Being, makes physics easily accessible and interesting to the average reader, and whets the appetites of physics aficionados.
A short book in regard to the number of pages, The Physics of Being contains a wealth of information. Its 138 pages includes a helpful glossary, bibliography, and index, as well as a preface and prologue. The author’s writing style is conversational. His sense of humor and easy-going manner sets the reader at ease. Beginning with a story from his childhood, when he was first exposed to the idea of atoms by his mother, he writes, “She told me that scientists believed that all matter was made up of these tiny things called ‘atoms’…I remembered thinking this was the neatest thing ever, and from that point on I looked at the world differently.”
Chambers shares his enthusiasm for physics on every page of his book. From his explanation of the Greek origins of the word “atom” to current theories on time travel, his excitement for physics is palpable. A natural teacher, Chambers simplifies the thoughts, theories, and philosophies of the world’s greatest thinkers. He also applies them to subjects that for a long time were labeled as being outside the realms of science, such as the soul and even God. He explains his thoughts on the soul by defining what he calls the Augmentation Theory. The author writes, “The brain acts as a driver for the soul as long as the brain exists as a potentially stable consciousness.” Even as many would argue that, in order for the soul to exist, there must be some kind of universal consciousness, there has been no evidence to support the existence of consciousness outside of humanity’s own self-awareness, except in science fiction and in the text of some Eastern religions. However, the recently devised Double Slit Experiment actually shows that photons seem to be conscious of being observed and measured.
The more scientists learn about the universe through empirical observation and experimentation, the more they discover how little they know. It is a dream of physicists to find the ultimate equation, a unified theory that makes sense of everything from the big bang to the idea of infinite realities. With the help of authors and scientists like Chambers, it is our duty to understand as much as we can about our universe and our place in its grandiosity.