Of Particular Significance

Emerging From the Writing Cave

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 06/14/2023

I have just submitted a book, entitled Waves in an Impossible Sea, to my publisher, Basic Books (a trade press well known for Gödel, Escher, Bach, as well as numerous other science and math titles.) If all goes smoothly, it will go on sale in March 2024 or thereabouts. Now that it is mostly done, I will have some more time for writing of other sorts, including posts on this blog.

In the book, I’ve tried to explain how modern physics intersects with human existence and experience. I hope it will bring a physicist’s perspective on the cosmos, and on humans’ place within it, to a wider range of people. Along the way, it explains clearly and correctly what the Higgs field’s role in nature is, and how it plays that role, to the extent we understand it.

The book is non-technical yet sophisticated; though a layperson with no science background can read it, it’s not a lightweight read. I’ve made the universe as comprehensible as I know how, but I haven’t oversimplified it. Of course I had to leave a lot out; otherwise the book would have been 3500 pages instead of 350. But whatever is covered in the book is covered as carefully as space allows.

Precisely because I’ve had to leave out so many interesting side-topics and technical details, I’ll be providing lots of supplementary material on this website. Some of it will be brief surveys of topics that couldn’t fit in the book; some of it will allow me to discuss subtle points that would have distracted from the flow of the book; and some of it will present some of the underlying math that didn’t belong in a non-technical book, but which I know will interest certain readers of this website. I’ll be writing much of that material in coming months, and as I finish parts of it, I’ll be posting them here. Your comments will be both welcome and essential in making sure that it is comprehensible and comprehensive.

There’s much more to come, so stay tuned.

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29 Responses

  1. Creating “something” from “nothing” is an intriguing prospect!! It tends to knock back many fundamental beliefs in the existence of “The Creator”, and that is the aspect I shall most look forward to. Thanks.

  2. Dear Prof Matt Strassler

    Thank you very much for this great news !!

    Best regards

      1. We’ll my grandsons and me. That’s 3 for a start. And the numbers only go up from there!

      2. Awesome! I always wish you would write a book someday.
        I learn both physics and English from you. Best to you.

  3. Congratulations on this achievement! You are such an excellent writer and educator, your voice was sorely missed and I can not wait to read your thoughts on topics like this in a more expansive book format. Hope you can find a little time now to update your bio info on the blog too — have wondered for years what you’re doing since you were “employed outside of science”. So glad you’re back here, and keep going!

  4. Matt Strassler, congrats on completing your book — that’s no small effort! Also, I think that’s a brilliant title that should help garner layperson attention to your book. Best of luck!

  5. Excellent. TJ is a great editor – he did my Fermi book – and I am sure you will love what he does with your book.

  6. Great news! I have been waiting for your book ever since you announced you were writing one. Looking forward to buying one.
    I have been missing reading you very informative and up to date posts.
    All the best

      1. Matt, I found your “none darker” comment about waves especially intriguing, but I also admit I don’t really know what you mean. Can we tempt you to elaborate? (Not too much, just enough to get people interested!)

  7. Congratulations for this achievement. Looking forward to read the book and your blog.

    I am an autodidact, now learning QFT. Sometimes I go back to your website, that I read entirely, to refresh my mind and clarify some concepts. You are a great teacher, thank you for your effort.

  8. SOOO looking forward to the book. Physics right now is the most exciting field and understanding its relationship to what we see, hear, and touch and think will be a delight. Congratulations

  9. Looking forward to reading the book. A paperback version would be appreciated and a kindle version

    1. That’s entirely up to the publisher! not something authors get to choose, or schedule. There will be a paperback, surely, but the publisher decides when that happens.

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A decay of a Higgs boson, as reconstructed by the CMS experiment at the LHC


A quick reminder, to those in the northwest’s big cities, that I will be giving two talks about my book in the next 48 hours:

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 04/17/2024

A reminder: tonight (April 3) at 6pm I’ll be giving a public lecture about my book, along with a Q&A in conversation with Greg Kestin,

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 04/03/2024