There are ideas in the book -everything from Law of Gravitation to Symmetry in Physical Law to the relation of Mathematics to Physics in 170 pages - that are so beautifully explained, I wanted to stand up on my plane seat and read those words aloud to my co-passengers. (Then I saw how engrossed they were, watching Shrek or reading Harry Potter and decided against acting out my impulse.)
Take this one particularly soul-stirring passage from a chapter on Entropy and Disorder, titled "The Distinction Between Past And Future":
Which end is nearer to God; if I may use a religious metaphor. Beauty and hope, or the fundamental laws? I think that the right way, of course, is to say that what we have to look at is the whole structural interconnection of the thing; and that is all the sciences, and not just the sciences but all the efforts of intellectual kinds, are an endeavour to see the connections of the hierarchies, to connect beauty to history, to connect history to man's psychology, man's psychology to the working of the brain, the brain to the neural impulse, the neural impulse to the chemistry, and so forth, up and down, both ways. And today we cannot, and it is no use making believe that we can, draw carefully a line all the way from one end of this thing to the other......And I do not think either end is nearer to God. To stand at either end, and to walk off that end of the pier only, hoping that out in that direction is the complete understanding, is a mistake. And to stand with evil and beauty and hope, or to stand with the fundamental laws, hoping that way to get a deep understanding of the whole world, with that aspect alone, is a mistake.Sadly, these brilliant lectures which were once available on Google and YouTube have now have been removed. If any of you know any other video sites where I can find them, please post links in the commentspace. For that that don't have access to a good public library or a bookstore, just google for the book title and you will find excerpts on Google Books.