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Paperback review: Paradox, By Jim Al-Khalili


Professor Jim Al-Khalili states that he had tremendous fun writing this book, and it shows.

It’s a lively, readable, and entertaining trip around the “nine greatest enigmas in modern physics”. Al-Khalili warms up with some venerable logical paradoxes such as Zeno’s Paradox, before moving on to paradoxes in physics, such as the Grandfather Paradox – could you travel back in time to before you were born and kill your grandfather? Then there’s Laplace’s Demon – imagine an omniscient demon which knew the position and movement of every atom in the Universe. It could predict every future event; but could it predict its own actions? Then there’s Schrodinger’s Cat – can it really be simultaneously alive and dead until we open the box?  Al-Khalili has a clear and elegant solution to each and every one.