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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
by Carlo Rovelli and Simon Carnell and Erica Segre


Overview - A startling and illustrative distillation of centuries of science. "The Economist"
""
Lean, lucid and enchanting. "New Scientist"
The international bestseller that reveals all the beauty of modern physics in seven short and enlightening lessons
"Seven Brief Lessons on Physics" is a book about the joy of discovery.
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More About Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli; Simon Carnell; Erica Segre
 
 
 
Overview
A startling and illustrative distillation of centuries of science. "The Economist"
""
Lean, lucid and enchanting. "New Scientist"
The international bestseller that reveals all the beauty of modern physics in seven short and enlightening lessons
"Seven Brief Lessons on Physics" is a book about the joy of discovery. Carlo Rovelli brings a playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics, offering surprising and surprisingly easy to grasp explanations of 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. 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. 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. "

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780399184413
  • ISBN-10: 0399184414
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Publish Date: March 2016
  • Page Count: 96


Related Categories

Books > Science > Physics - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-01-04
  • Reviewer: Staff

This enchanting book from Rovelli, an Italian theoretical physicist, looks at physics as a continually changing quest for understanding of our universe, instead of as immutable laws of nature. These pieces, expanded from a series of articles written for a general audience that knows “little or nothing about modern science,” are not true lessons, though there are some conceptual explanations. Rather, the essays are a joyous celebration of scientific wonder. Rovelli compares Einstein’s general theory of relativity to Mozart’s Requiem or the Sistine Chapel: “To fully appreciate their brilliance may require a long apprenticeship, but the reward is sheer beauty.” Exploring that beauty and mystery, he notes the “paradox at the heart of our understanding of the physical world.” When Rovelli arrives at the edges of certainty, his writing turns lyrical, even mystical, as science becomes “incandescent in the forge of nascent ideas.” Discussing thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, he poses a Zen-like question—“What is a vibrating time?”—that leads to the book’s heart: he asserts that the study of infinitesimal particles and black holes is part of being human, and that the divide between science and the rest of learning is artificial. “The border is porous,” Rovelli writes. “Myths nourish science, and science nourishes myth.” (Mar.)

 
BookPage Reviews

The wonders of physics

Is it truly possible to explain the most compelling theories in modern physics in less than 100 pages? In language even nonscientists can understand? Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli proves that such an explanation is indeed possible—and surprisingly beautiful—in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. An international bestseller, it has outsold Fifty Shades of Grey in Italy, where Rovelli’s book was first published.

Rovelli perfectly conveys the mix of blind faith, crushing doubt and wonder that have guided our understanding of the world around us. The third lesson, “The Architecture of the Cosmos,” uses eight simple diagrams to graph our evolving understanding of ourselves and where exactly we are, from a lone stick man sandwiched between flat planes of Earth and sky to mere stardust that may well be a dream experienced by something in another universe.

In lessons on general relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity and black holes, Rovelli beautifully merges the study of the universe with our ever-shifting understanding of our place within it. “We are like an only child who in growing up realizes that the world does not revolve only around himself, as he thought when little,” Rovelli writes. “Mirrored by others, and by other things, we learn who we are.”

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is a science book that reads like a poem, and resonates like one, too. It’s educational to be sure, but its biggest lesson seems to be that remaining curious is our greatest hope as individuals and a species.

 

This article was originally published in the March 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews