Seven Brief Lessons On Physics
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The New York Times bestseller from the author of The Order of Time and Reality Is Not What It Seems “One of the year’s most entrancing books about science.”—The Wall Street Journal “Clear, elegant...a whirlwind tour of some of the biggest ideas in physics.”—The New York Times Book Review This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics briskly explains Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. Carlo Rovelli, a renowned theoretical physicist, is a delightfully poetic and philosophical scientific guide. He takes us to the frontiers of our knowledge: to the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, back to the origins of the cosmos, and into the workings of our minds. The book celebrates the joy of discovery. “Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world,” Rovelli writes. “And it’s breathtaking.”
Instant New York Times Bestseller "Short and resonant. . . . The essays in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics arrive like shots of espresso."--The New York Times "A startling and illustrative distillation of centuries of science."--The Economist "Lean, lucid and enchanting."--New Scientist The international bestseller that reveals all the beauty of modern physics in seven short and enlightening lessons Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is a book about the joy of discovery. Carlo Rovelli brings a playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics, offering surprising--and surprisingly easy to grasp--explanations of Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. He takes us to the frontiers of our knowledge: to the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, back to the origins of the cosmos, and into the workings of our minds. "Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world," Rovelli writes. "And it's breathtaking."
THE PHENOMENAL BESTSELLER 'There's a book I've been carrying around like a small Bible, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics' - Benedict Cumberbatch Everything you need to know about modern physics, the universe and your place in the world in seven enlightening lessons These seven short lessons guide us, with simplicity and clarity, through the scientific revolution that shook physics in the twentieth century and still continues to shake us today. In this beautiful and mind-bending introduction to modern physics, Carlo Rovelli explains Einstein's theory of general relativity, quantum mechanics, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, elementary particles, gravity, and the nature of the mind. In under eighty pages, readers will understand the most transformative scientific discoveries of the twentieth century and what they mean for us. Not since Richard Feynman's celebrated best-seller Six Easy Pieces has physics been so vividly, intelligently and entertainingly revealed.
“The man who makes physics sexy . . . the scientist they’re calling the next Stephen Hawking.” —The Times Magazine From the New York Times–bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time, a closer look at the mind-bending nature of the universe. What are the elementary ingredients of the world? Do time and space exist? And what exactly is reality? Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli has spent his life exploring these questions. He tells us how our understanding of reality has changed over the centuries and how physicists think about the structure of the universe today. In elegant and accessible prose, Rovelli takes us on a wondrous journey from Democritus to Albert Einstein, from Michael Faraday to gravitational waves, and from classical physics to his own work in quantum gravity. As he shows us how the idea of reality has evolved over time, Rovelli offers deeper explanations of the theories he introduced so concisely in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. This book culminates in a lucid overview of quantum gravity, the field of research that explores the quantum nature of space and time, seeking to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity. Rovelli invites us to imagine a marvelous world where space breaks up into tiny grains, time disappears at the smallest scales, and black holes are waiting to explode—a vast universe still largely undiscovered.
One of TIME’s Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade "Meet the new Stephen Hawking . . . The Order of Time is a dazzling book." --The Sunday Times From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, comes a concise, elegant exploration of time. Why do we remember the past and not the future? What does it mean for time to "flow"? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us? In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike. For most readers this is unfamiliar terrain. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it remains. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where at the most fundamental level time disappears. He explains how the theory of quantum gravity attempts to understand and give meaning to the resulting extreme landscape of this timeless world. Weaving together ideas from philosophy, science and literature, he suggests that our perception of the flow of time depends on our perspective, better understood starting from the structure of our brain and emotions than from the physical universe. Already a bestseller in Italy, and written with the poetic vitality that made Seven Brief Lessons on Physics so appealing, The Order of Time offers a profoundly intelligent, culturally rich, novel appreciation of the mysteries of time.
"If Ms. Frizzle were a physics student of Stephen Hawking, she might have written THE UNIVERSE IN YOUR HAND, a wild tour through the reaches of time and space, from the interior of a proton to the Big Bang to the rough suburbs of a black hole. It's friendly, excitable, erudite, and cosmic." —Jordan Ellenberg, New York Times besteselling author of How Not To Be Wrong Quantum physics, black holes, string theory, the Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy, parallel universes: even if we are interested in these fundamental concepts of our world, their language is the language of math. Which means that despite our best intentions of finally grasping, say, Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, most of us are quickly brought up short by a snarl of nasty equations or an incomprehensible graph. Christophe Galfard's mission in life is to spread modern scientific ideas to the general public in entertaining ways. Using his considerable skills as a brilliant theoretical physicist and successful young adult author, The Universe in Your Hand employs the immediacy of simple, direct language to show us, not explain to us, the theories that underpin everything we know about our universe. To understand what happens to a dying star, we are asked to picture ourselves floating in space in front of it. To get acquainted with the quantum world, we are shrunk to the size of an atom and then taken on a journey. Employing everyday similes and metaphors, addressing the reader directly, and writing stories rather than equations renders these astoundingly complex ideas in an immediate and visceral way. Utterly captivating and entirely unique, The Universe in Your Hand will find its place among other classics in the field.
"Marvelous. . . . A wonderful book."--Humana.Mente "Rovelli is the dream author to conduct us on this journey."--Nonfiction.fr "At this point in time, when the prestige of science is at a low and even simple issues like climate change are mired in controversy, Carlo Rovelli gives us a necessary reflection on what science is, and where it comes from. Rovelli is a deeply original thinker, so it is not surprising that he has novel views on the important questions of the nature and origin of science."--Lee Smolin, founding member and researcher at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and author of The Trouble with Physics Winner of the Prix du Livre Haute Maurienne de l'Astronomie Carlo Rovelli, a leading theoretical physicist, uses the figure of Anaximander as the starting point for an examination of scientific thinking itself: its limits, its strengths, its benefits to humankind, and its controversial relationship with religion. Anaximander, the sixth-century BC Greek philosopher, is often called the first scientist because he was the first to suggest that order in the world was due to natural forces, not supernatural ones. He is the first person known to understand that the Earth floats in space; to believe that the sun, the moon, and the stars rotate around it--seven centuries before Ptolemy; to argue that all animals came from the sea and evolved; and to posit that universal laws control all change in the world. Anaximander taught Pythagoras, who would build on Anaximander's scientific theories by applying mathematical laws to natural phenomena. In the award-winning The First Scientist: Anaximander and His Legacy, translated here for the first time in English, Rovelli restores Anaximander to his place in the history of science by carefully reconstructing his theories from what is known to us and examining them in their historical and philosophical contexts. Rovelli demonstrates that Anaximander's discoveries and theories were decisive influences, putting Western culture on its path toward a scientific revolution. Developing this connection, Rovelli redefines science as a continuous redrawing of our conceptual image of the world. He concludes that scientific thinking--the legacy of Anaximander--is only reliable when it constantly tests the limits of our current knowledge.
A delightful intellectual feast from the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time One of the world’s most prominent physicists and fearless free spirit, Carlo Rovelli is also a masterful storyteller. His bestselling books have introduced millions of readers to the wonders of modern physics and his singular perspective on the cosmos. This new collection of essays reveals a curious intellect always on the move. Rovelli invites us on an accessible and enlightening voyage through science, literature, philosophy and politics. Written with his usual clarity and wit, this journey ranges widely across time and space: from Newton's alchemy to Einstein's mistakes, from Nabokov’s epidopterology to Dante’s cosmology, from mind-altering psychedelic substances to the meaning of atheism, from the future of physics to the power of uncertainty. Charming, pithy and elegant, this book is the perfect gateway to the universe of one of the most influential minds of our age.
An awe-inspiring, unforgettable journey of scientific exploration from Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, the international bestselling authors of Why Does E=MC2? and The Quantum Universe, with 55 black-&-white and 45 full-color pages featuring photographs, diagrams, maps, tables, and graphs We dare to imagine a time before the Big Bang, when the entire universe was compressed into a space smaller than an atom. And now, as Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw show, we can do more than imagine: we can understand. Universal takes us on an epic journey of scientific exploration. It reveals how we can all come to grips with some of the most fundamental questions about our Earth, Sun, and solar system--and the star-filled galaxies beyond. How big is our solar system? How quickly is space expanding? How big is the universe? What is it made of? Some of these questions can be answered on the basis of observations you can make in your own backyard. Other answers draw on the astonishing information now being gathered by teams of astronomers operating at the frontiers of the known universe. At the heart of all this lies the scientific method. Science reveals a deeper beauty and connects us to each other, to our world, and to our universe. Science reaches out into the unknown. As Universal demonstrates, if we dare to imagine, we can do the same.
Quantum gravity is perhaps the most important open problem in fundamental physics. It is the problem of merging quantum mechanics and general relativity, the two great conceptual revolutions in the physics of the twentieth century. The loop and spinfoam approach, presented in this 2004 book, is one of the leading research programs in the field. The first part of the book discusses the reformulation of the basis of classical and quantum Hamiltonian physics required by general relativity. The second part covers the basic technical research directions. Appendices include a detailed history of the subject of quantum gravity, hard-to-find mathematical material, and a discussion of some philosophical issues raised by the subject. This fascinating text is ideal for graduate students entering the field, as well as researchers already working in quantum gravity. It will also appeal to philosophers and other scholars interested in the nature of space and time.