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'The Dialogues' Takes On Physics And Reality In Words And Pictures

Commentator Adam Frank interviews physicist Clifford Johnson, who has taken a new approach to the exploration of questions about the nature of the universe — the graphic novel.
An image from Clifford Johnson's The Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of the Universe. Source: Courtesy of Clifford Johnson

The origin of the universe, the nature of space, the reality of time: These are ancient questions.

Libraries across the world are filled with heavy books that are, themselves, heavy with equations on these issues. But how many graphic novels are exploring these questions? More importantly, how many graphic novels written and drawn by expert theoretical physicists are there?

Well, happily for us all, the answer to the latter question is "at least one," thanks to University of Southern California physicist Clifford Johnson. Johnson's new book The Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of the Universe is a penetrating exploration of questions — that are both ancient and modern — about the nature of the universe. I found The Dialogues to be compelling, and the use of the graphic novel format only deepened that impression.

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