- [-] Other Available FormatsOur PriceNew & Used MarketplaceReality Is Not What It Seems (Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged)
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks$32.00
- ISBN-13: 9780735213920
- ISBN-10: 0735213925
- Publisher: Riverhead Books
- Publish Date: January 2017
- Page Count: 288
- Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.93 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-11-14
- Reviewer: Staff
In his latest explanatory work, Rovelli (Seven Brief Lessons on Physics), a theoretical physicist and proponent of loop quantum gravity, sets himself the difficult task of attempting to clarify for laypeople the most recent scientific theories about the nature of the universe. He begins with historical lessons, going back to philosophical questions posed in Western antiquity. Rovelli races forward through the work of Newton, Faraday, and Maxwell to get to how Einstein refined and added to the field theories of electromagnetism. One of the books strengths is the picture Rovelli develops of how scientists build on the work of others. But the bulk of the book focuses on evaluating the perplexing nature of space and time, which, as they are commonly understood, appear to be little more than convenient constructs. Space is created by the interaction of individual quanta of gravity, Rovelli writes, while the world is made entirely made from quantum fields. The difficulty of understanding this aside, Rovelli smoothly conveys the differences between belief and proof, and concludes with a lovely chapter on being ignorant and eager for the next discovery. Rovellis work is challenging, but his excitement is contagious and he delights in the possibilities of human understanding. (Feb.)
Carlo Rovelli returns with a new lesson
Read theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli’s meticulous explanations of the “elementary weave of the world” and you will never again let the phrase “quantum leap” roll loosely from your tongue. Instead of bringing to mind “The X-Files,” the words will invoke questions—and possible answers—about the very structure of space. In careful, professorial fashion, Rovelli lays out the history of breakthroughs in physics, deftly showing how each new theory built on or discredited previous theories, leading us to ideas Rovelli works with today, like loop quantum gravity and spin networks.
Rovelli’s stated aim is to educate audiences who know little about today’s physics, but it must be said that the true novice will need to pay strict attention to each lesson offered here if he or she is to benefit from the knowledge that accumulates as the pages turn. Most readers would be well served to begin with Rovelli’s 2016 bestseller, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, a whirlwind tour of the ideas developed more deeply here. If you prefer your physics steeped in context, though, this new volume is the place to dive in, for Rovelli writes eloquently here about historical figures from Anaximander to Einstein, and even poets like Dante and Shakespeare.
Accessible on many levels, Reality Is Not What It Seems offers logical explanations of complex concepts. Throughout, Rovelli makes palpable the human struggle to understand our world and to “discover the new.”