Book Review: The Dancing Wu Li Masters

The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics by Gary Zukav

Recommended for: newcomers to quantum physics or physics in general.

The main selling point of The Dancing Wu Li Masters is that it tackles physics theory without the mathematics. For any student or autodidact who’s crashed up against the formulas in the textbook and bailed, this is definitely the book for you. Gary Zukav is a layperson who worked closely with several physicists to translate the world of higher math and quantum mechanics into every-day language.

For the read who’s a few years away from their science classes and interested in theory more than application, again this is a great review. Come to it with an open mind and you will learn a lot.

On the other hand for the avid science reader, this may come off a bit like a high school text trying to be cool. I have a sneaking suspicion, actually, that my high school text “borrowed” from this book. A lot of it is very familiar.

My edition was from 1979 and it does feel dated at times. The author tries very hard to bridge the gap between science and religion — especially the Eastern traditions. However, even being dated and philosophical, it is still relevant. It covers the theories of relativity, the Uncertainty Principle, Schrodinger’s thought experiment and much, much more. It will give you a much clearer understanding of what CERN’s up to and why the Large Haldron Collider is cool.

Definitely give it a shot. It’s a classic for a reason.


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