Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

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9780241235966: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Instant New York Times Bestseller

“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.”

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About the Author:

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. Rovelli lives in Marseille, France.

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From the Preface

These lessons were written for those who know little or nothing about modern science. Together they provide a rapid overview of the most fascinating aspects of the great revolution that has occurred in physics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and of the questions and mysteries that this revolution has opened up. Because science shows us how to better understand the world, but it also reveals to us just how vast is the extent of what is still not known.

The first lesson is dedicated to Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, the "most beautiful of theories." The second to quantum mechanics, where the most baffling aspects of modern physics lurk. The third is dedicated to the cosmos: the architecture of the universe that we inhabit; the fourth to its elementary particles. The fifth deals with quantum gravity: the attempts that are under way to construct a synthesis of the major discoveries of the twentieth century. The sixth is on probability and the heat of black holes. The final section of thebook returns to ourselves and asks how it is possible to think about our existence in the light of the strange world described by physics.

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