Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity

By Carlo Rovelli
Translated by Simon Carnell  and Erica Segre
Read by Roy McMillan

6.13 Hours 01/24/2017 unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781524749583

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    ISBN: 9781524749576

“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.

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Summary

Summary

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for January 2017

“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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Rovelli’s lyrical language, clarity of thought, and passion for science and its history make the title a pleasure to read (albeit slowly), and his diagrams and footnotes will allow readers to understand the material better and tackle a more expert level of insight. Booklist
Rovelli offers vast, complex ideas beyond most of our imagining—‘quanta,’ ‘grains of space,’ ‘time and the heat of black holes and condenses them into spare, beautiful words that render them newly explicable and moving.
Rovelli writes with elegance, clarity and charm. . . . A joy to read, as well as being an intellectual feast. New Statesman
Rovelli smoothly conveys the differences between belief and proof. . . his excitement is contagious and he delights in the possibilities of human understanding. Publishers Weekly
Science buffs will admire Rovelli's lucid writing…Cutting-edge theoretical physics for a popular audience that obeys the rules (little math, plenty of drawings), but it's not for the faint of heart. Kirkus Reviews
Rovelli draws deep physics into the light with rather greater success... He wears a broad erudition lightly, casually and clearly explaining. Read It Forward
“A fascinating adventure into the outer limits of space and into the smallest atom…Rovelli manages to break down complex, proven ideas into smaller, easily assimilated concepts so those with little to no scientific background can understand the fundamental ideas…Rovelli's infectious enthusiasm and excitement for his subject help carry readers over the more difficult aspects, allowing one to let the imagination soar…An exciting description of the evolution of physics takes readers to the edge of human knowledge of the universe. Shelf Awareness
Rovelli writes beautiful prose while walking the reader through the history and concept of 'reality' and what it all means for the yet to be discovered universe and thus our own lives. Pasadena Star-News
With its warm, enthusiastic language and tone, [Seven Brief Lessons on Physics] is also deeply humanistic in approach, using words like elegant and beauty about a subject…that can seem impenetrably dense and abstract…Reality Is Not What It Seems takes much the same approach. New York Magazine
“If your desire to be awestruck by the universe we inhabit needs refreshing, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli…is up to the task.” Elle
If your desire to be awestruck by the universe we inhabit needs refreshing, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli…is up to the task. Elle
Some physicists, mind you, not many of them, are physicist-poets. They see the world or, more adequately, physical reality, as a lyrical narrative written in some hidden code that the human mind can decipher. Carlo Rovelli, the Italian physicist and author, is one of them…Rovelli's book is a gem. It's a pleasure to read, full of wonderful analogies and imagery and, last but not least, a celebration of the human spirit. NPR Cosmos & Culture
[Reality Is Not What It Seems] is simultaneously aimed at the curious layperson while also useful to the modern scientist… Rovelli lets us nibble or gorge ourselves, depending on our appetites, on several scrumptious equations. He doesn’t expect everyone to be a master of the equations or even possess much mathematical acumen, but the equations serve as appetizers for those inclined to get their fill, so to speak. Raleigh News & Observer
“Rovelli writes with crystalline simplicity…He turns quantum physics into a coherent story.” Times (London)
“A pleasure to read, full of wonderful analogies and imagery and, last but not least, a celebration of the human spirit.” NPR
“Here’s a flawless, up-to-date history of physics, from antiquity to yesterday (almost). One can’t tell that it’s translated from Italian, so smoothly does the narration flow. Narrator Roy McMillan’s voice gives the impression of a learned speaker embarking on a friendly explanation of abstruse concepts and discoveries. Having listened to many science audiobooks and other presentations, this reviewer says that this is one of the best. For example, quantum theory, well known to be opaque to even highly trained scientists, is described so lucidly that the listener almost understands it. That’s saying something.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Carlo Rovelli

Carlo Rovelli, an Italian theoretical physicist, is the head of the quantum gravity group at the Centre de Physique Théorique of Aix-Marseille Université. He is one of the founders of the loop quantum gravity theory and and the author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, a New York Times bestseller and international bestseller translated into over forty-one languages.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Nonfiction/Science
Runtime: 6.13
Audience: Adult
Language: English