From the New York Times -bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics , a closer look at the mind-bending nature of the universe. Read more...
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From the New York Times-bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, 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.
Audio: Fatal attraction
John Lescroart hasn’t left San Francisco, but he’s giving a sabbatical to Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky, the stars of his long-running crime series. In his latest standalone thriller, Fatal, read by Jacques Roy, he pairs his trademark genres—police procedural and courtroom drama—in an intriguingly different way. Beth Tully, a homicide inspector for the SFPD, and the strikingly beautiful, happily married Kate Jameson have been very close since their college days. When Kate confides that she’s obsessed with a man named Peter, a lawyer she met at a dinner party given by her husband’s law partner, Beth pleads with her to let it go. She doesn’t. Six months later Peter’s body is found floating in the Bay with an obvious gunshot wound. It takes Beth, who lands the case, a while to sift through the suspects and connect the dots that may implicate her best friend in a murder. Then this whodunit tilts and twists in a swirl of moral ambiguity, the inevitably disturbing consequences of marital infidelity and the strong bonds of female friendship.
THEN AND NOW
Finding a decent, affordable place to live in London, like New York, is a Herculean task. When Emma and Simon hear that there’s an unusual, austerely elegant, super-high-tech house in their price range, they’re intrigued. So what if One Folgate Street comes with a weird, probing questionnaire, a long list of rules and an interview. Emma, who was brutally attacked during a recent burglary, is all for it, while Simon is not so gung-ho. Emma is the “girl” in JP Delaney’s debut thriller, The Girl Before, performed by Emilia Fox and Finty Williams. Her story intertwines with the life of Jane, who might be called “the girl after,” and she, too, has just had a personal tragedy. In increasingly chilling “now” and “then” chapters, both women fall for Edward Monkford, the owner, obsessive perfectionist and acclaimed architect of One Folgate Street. Are Jane and Emma reliable narrators? Or, since the title has “girl” in it, do we have to find the kernels of truth under elaborate and deliberate lies? That’s the psychological game here, and it’s a doozy.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
Carlo Rovelli’s Seven Brief Lessons on Physics was a phenomenon, a rare bestseller in the serious science category. Now with Reality Is Not What It Seems, he’s done it again, giving us an elegantly written explication of the “enchanting” landscape of current thinking on the quantum nature of time and space and its antecedents. Yes, the subject is difficult and esoteric, and yes, you may not grasp all the concepts (I must admit to listening twice), but you won’t regret taking Rovelli’s invitation to follow this extraordinary intellectual journey. It starts with Democritus, who lived and wrote 26 centuries ago, the man who gave us an “immense vision”—a world made of atoms—“on which the knowledge of a civilization would later be built.” The journey continues with Lucretius, Galileo, Newton, Faraday and Einstein, of course, from classical physics to today’s research on quantum gravity. Rovelli’s enthusiasm, his excitement about discovering the true nature of things, is enhanced by Roy McMillan’s narration of this mind-expanding audio.