If you like mathematics, physics, or the Universe for that matter, then you might be interested in this audio interview at IT Conversations with Sir Roger Penrose, Professor of Mathmatics, Oxford University, discussing his new book, Road to Reality — A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe.

The Amazon editorial review describes this work, that took eight years to write, as one that:

“may be the most complete mathematical explanation of the universe yet published, and Roger Penrose richly deserves the accolades he will receive for it.”

New York Times review:

“Penrose’s new effort, ”The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe,” is his most ambitious yet, more than twice as long as ”The Emperor’s New Mind” and exponentially more demanding. Starting from scratch with Pythagoras and Plato, he dismantles what is known about the nature of the universe and then puts it back together again. The result — if you can make your way through — is a comprehensive guide to physics’ big picture, and to the thoughts of one of the world’s most original thinkers.”

“Indeed, Penrose’s newly published 1,099-page treatise — The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe — expends little ink ruminating over what is not known. Rather, The Road to Reality is as rigorous and exhaustive a map to the “theory of

nearlyeverything” as a reader could hope to find today.”

Roger’s twistor theory is a delight of algebraic geometry, even from a physics point of view.

It has helped simplify all sorts of partial differential equations, and the twisted cohomology and study of spinor algebras it has spawned are making real inroads into mathematics. For example, hyperkahler manifolds, of which twistor spaces provide the first non-trivial examples, are increasingly being used for geometrical number theoretic applications.

I think some of his physics in this book is slightly too speculative to present to a lay audience without prior explanation, but his achievements are real enough to heap great praise. He is certainly a very fine writer.

Oh, and by the way, he runs Linux!