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.”
These seven 'short lessons' guide us, with admirable clarity, through the scientific revolution that shook physics in the twentieth century and still continues to shake us today. In this short, playful, entertaining and mind-bending introduction to modern physics, 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 one hundred pages, readers will understand the most transformative scientific discoveries of the twentieth century. Not since Richard Feynman's celebrated best-seller Six Easy Pieceshas physics been so vividly, intelligently and entertainingly revealed. Carlo Rovelli is an eminent physicist with an extraordinary ability to write about complex topics in a lucid, clear prose. His book was top of the bestseller charts in Italy for months and has sold over 200,000 copies since publication in November. He is the head of the Équipe de Gravité Quantiqueat the Theoretical Physics Department of Aix-Marseille University. It has sold in over a dozen languages. 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. And it's breathtaking.
'A dazzling book ... the new Stephen Hawking' Sunday Times The bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics takes us on an enchanting, consoling journey to discover the meaning of time 'We are time. We are this space, this clearing opened by the traces of memory inside the connections between our neurons. We are memory. We are nostalgia. We are longing for a future that will not come.' Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe. With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery. Enlightening and consoling, The Order of Time shows that to understand ourselves we need to reflect on time -- and to understand time we need to reflect on ourselves. Translated by Simon Carnell and Erica Segre
“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.
Is magic real? Could anything be real that can't be quantified or scientifically investigated? Are qualities like love, beauty, and goodness really just about hormones and survival? Are strangely immaterial things, like thought and personhood, fully explainable in scientific terms? Does nature itself have any intrinsic value, mysterious presence, or transcendent horizon? Once we ask these questions, the answer is pretty obvious: of course science can't give us a complete picture of reality. Science is very good at what it is good at, but highly important aspects of human meaning are simply outside of science's knowledge range. So how might we better relate scientific facts to qualitative mysteries? How might we integrate our powerful factual knowledge with wisdom about the higher meaning of things? This book defines magic as the real qualities and mysteries of the world that science just can't grasp. It looks at how we came to put magic in the box of subjective make-believe. It explores how we might get it out of that box and back into our understanding of reality.
And Other Thoughts on Physics, Philosophy and the World
Author: Carlo Rovelli
Pubpsher: Penguin UK
Category: Literary Collections
One of our most beloved scientists, a fearless free spirit, Carlo Rovelli is also a masterful storyteller. In this collection of writings, the logbook of an intelligence always on the move, he follows his curiosity and invites us on a voyage through science, literature, philosophy and politics. Written with his usual clarity and wit, these pieces, most of which were first published in Italian newspapers, range widely across time and space: from Newton's alchemy to Einstein's mistakes, from Nabokov's lepidoptery to Dante's cosmology, from travels in Africa to the consciousness of an octopus, from mind-altering psychedelic substances to the meaning of atheism. Charming, pithy and elegant, this book is the perfect gateway to the universe of one of the most influential physicists of our age.
'A gem of a book' Carlo Rovelli, author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Could there be a civilization on a mote of dust? How much of your fate have you made? Who cleans the universe? Through more than fifty Koans - pleasingly paradoxical vignettes following the ancient Zen tradition - leading physicist Anthony Aguirre takes us across the world from Japan to Italy, and through ideas spanning the age, breadth and depth of the Universe. Using these beguiling stories and a flair for explaining complex science, he covers cosmic questions that giants from Aristotle to Galileo to Heisenberg have grappled with - from the nature of time to the origin of multiple universes to the meaning of quantum theory. Playful and enlightening, Cosmological Koans invites the reader into an intellectual adventure of the highest order, giving us what Einstein called 'the most beautiful and deepest experience' anyone can have - a sense of the mysterious.
In How to Explain Absolutely Anything to Absolutely Anyone: The art and science of teacher explanation, Andy Tharby talks teachers through a set of remarkably simple techniques that will help revolutionise the precision and clarity of their message. Explanation is an art form, albeit a slightly mysterious one. We know a great explanation when we see or hear one, yet nevertheless we struggle to pin down the intricacies of the craft ... Just how exactly is it done? In How to Explain Absolutely Anything to Absolutely Anyone, Andy Tharby eloquently explores the art and science of this undervalued skill and illustrates how improving the quality of explanation can improve the quality of learning. Delving into the wonder of metaphor, the brilliance of repetition and the timeless benefits of storytelling, Andy sets out an evidence-informed approach that will enable teachers to explain tricky concepts so well that their students will not only understand them perfectly, but remember them forever too. By bringing together evidence and ideas from a wide range of sources – including cognitive science, educational research and the study of linguistics – the book examines how the most effective writers and speakers manage to transform even the most messy, complicated idea into a thing of wondrous, crystalline clarity. Then, by provoking greater thought and contemplation around language choices in the classroom, Andy spells out how the practical tools and techniques discussed can be put into practice. Andy also puts the important role of learner autonomy in context, recognising that there is a time for teachers to talk and a time for pupils to lead their own learning – and contends that, in most cases, teachers should first lay out the premise before opening the space for interrogation. Ultimately, How to Explain Absolutely Anything to Absolutely Anyone argues that good teaching is not about talking more or less, but about talking better. Brimming with sensible advice applicable to a range of settings and subjects, this book is suitable for teachers and educators of learners aged 7–16. Contents include: Chapter 1: Subject knowledge Chapter 2: Credibility and clarity Chapter 3: Explanation design Chapter 4: Concepts, examples and misconceptions Chapter 5: Metaphor and analogy Chapter 6: Storytelling Chapter 7: Elaboration
Release on 2017-05-16 | by Jorge Cham,Daniel Whiteson
A Guide to the Unknown Universe
Author: Jorge Cham,Daniel Whiteson
Pubpsher: Hachette UK
Category: Social Science
'This witty book reveals the humbling vastness of our ignorance about the universe, along with charming insights into what we actually do understand' Carlo Rovelli, author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Reality Is Not What It Seems In our small corner of the universe, we know how some matter behaves most of the time and what even less of it looks like, and we have some good guesses about where it all came from. But we really have no clue what's going on. In fact, we don't know what about 95% of the universe is made of. So what happens when a cartoonist and a physicist walk into this strange, mostly unknown universe? Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson gleefully explore the biggest unknowns, why these things are still mysteries, and what a lot of smart people are doing to figure out the answers (or at least ask the right questions). While they're at it, they helpfully demystify many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humour and delight, they invite us to see the universe as a vast expanse of mostly uncharted territory that's still ours to explore. This is a book for fans of Brian Cox and What If. This highly entertaining highly illustrated book is perfect for anyone who's curious about all the great mysteries physicists are going to solve next.
"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.