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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Book Summary : 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.”
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Book Summary : Instant New York Times Bestseller "Short and resonant. . . . The essays in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics arrive like shots of espresso."--The New York Times "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."
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Book Summary : THE PHENOMENAL BESTSELLER 'There's a book I've been carrying around like a small Bible, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics' - Benedict Cumberbatch Everything you need to know about modern physics, the universe and your place in the world in seven enlightening lessons These seven short lessons guide us, with simplicity and clarity, through the scientific revolution that shook physics in the twentieth century and still continues to shake us today. In this beautiful and mind-bending introduction to modern physics, Carlo 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 eighty pages, readers will understand the most transformative scientific discoveries of the twentieth century and what they mean for us. Not since Richard Feynman's celebrated best-seller Six Easy Pieces has physics been so vividly, intelligently and entertainingly revealed.
There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness Book Summary : One of our most beloved scientists and the international bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, 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.
The Order of Time Book Summary : One of TIME’s Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade "Meet the new Stephen Hawking . . . The Order of Time is a dazzling book." --The Sunday Times From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, comes a concise, elegant exploration of time. Why do we remember the past and not the future? What does it mean for time to "flow"? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us? In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike. For most readers this is unfamiliar terrain. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it remains. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where at the most fundamental level time disappears. He explains how the theory of quantum gravity attempts to understand and give meaning to the resulting extreme landscape of this timeless world. Weaving together ideas from philosophy, science and literature, he suggests that our perception of the flow of time depends on our perspective, better understood starting from the structure of our brain and emotions than from the physical universe. Already a bestseller in Italy, and written with the poetic vitality that made Seven Brief Lessons on Physics so appealing, The Order of Time offers a profoundly intelligent, culturally rich, novel appreciation of the mysteries of time.
Reality Is Not What It Seems Book Summary : “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.
The Universe in Your Hand Book Summary : "If Ms. Frizzle were a physics student of Stephen Hawking, she might have written THE UNIVERSE IN YOUR HAND, a wild tour through the reaches of time and space, from the interior of a proton to the Big Bang to the rough suburbs of a black hole. It's friendly, excitable, erudite, and cosmic." —Jordan Ellenberg, New York Times besteselling author of How Not To Be Wrong Quantum physics, black holes, string theory, the Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy, parallel universes: even if we are interested in these fundamental concepts of our world, their language is the language of math. Which means that despite our best intentions of finally grasping, say, Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, most of us are quickly brought up short by a snarl of nasty equations or an incomprehensible graph. Christophe Galfard's mission in life is to spread modern scientific ideas to the general public in entertaining ways. Using his considerable skills as a brilliant theoretical physicist and successful young adult author, The Universe in Your Hand employs the immediacy of simple, direct language to show us, not explain to us, the theories that underpin everything we know about our universe. To understand what happens to a dying star, we are asked to picture ourselves floating in space in front of it. To get acquainted with the quantum world, we are shrunk to the size of an atom and then taken on a journey. Employing everyday similes and metaphors, addressing the reader directly, and writing stories rather than equations renders these astoundingly complex ideas in an immediate and visceral way. Utterly captivating and entirely unique, The Universe in Your Hand will find its place among other classics in the field.
Six Not So Easy Pieces Book Summary : Six lectures, all regarding the most revolutionary discovery in twentieth-century physics: Einstein's Theory of Relativity. No one--not even Einstein himself--explained these difficult, anti-intuitive concepts more clearly, or with more verve and gusto, than Feynman.
General Relativity The most beautiful of theories Book Summary : Generalising Newton's law of gravitation, general relativity is one of the pillars of modern physics. While applications in the beginning were restricted to isolated effects such as a proper understanding of Mercury's orbit, the second half of the twentieth century saw a massive development of applications. These include cosmology, gravitational waves, and even very practical results for satellite based positioning systems as well as different approaches to unite general relativity with another very successful branch of physics – quantum theory. On the occassion of general relativity's centennial, leading scientists in the different branches of gravitational research review the history and recent advances in the main fields of applications of the theory, which was referred to by Lev Landau as “the most beautiful of the existing physical theories”. Contributions from: Andy C. Fabian, AnthonyL. Lasenby, Astrophysical black Holes Neil Ashby, GNSS and other applications of General Relativity Gene Byrd, Arthur Chernin, Pekka Teerikorpi, Mauri Vaaltonen,Observations of general Relativity at strong and weaks limits Ignazio Ciufolini, General Relativity and dragging of inertial frames Carlo Rovelli, The strange world of quantum spacetime
Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain Book Summary : From the author of How Emotions Are Made, a myth-busting primer on the brain in the tradition of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Have you ever wondered why you have a brain? Let renowned neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett demystify that big gray blob between your ears. In seven short essays (plus a bite-sized story about how brains evolved), this slim, entertaining, and accessible collection reveals mind-expanding lessons from the front lines of neuroscience research. You’ll learn where brains came from, how they’re structured (and why it matters), and how yours works in tandem with other brains to create everything you experience. Along the way, you’ll also learn to dismiss popular myths such as the idea of a “lizard brain” and the alleged battle between thoughts and emotions, or even between nature and nurture, to determine your behavior. Sure to intrigue casual readers and scientific veterans alike, Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain is full of surprises, humor, and important implications for human nature—a gift of a book that you will want to savor again and again.
Seven Brief Lessons on Magic Book Summary : 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.
Anaximander Book Summary : "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.
Cosmological Koans Book Summary : 'A gem of a book' Carlo Rovelli, author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics 'A unique and beautifully written masterpiece' Max Tegmark, author of Life 3.0 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.
From Eternity to Here Book Summary : A rising star in theoretical physics offers his awesome vision of our universe and beyond, all beginning with a simple question: Why does time move forward? Time moves forward, not backward—everyone knows you can’t unscramble an egg. In the hands of one of today’s hottest young physicists, that simple fact of breakfast becomes a doorway to understanding the Big Bang, the universe, and other universes, too. In From Eternity to Here, Sean Carroll argues that the arrow of time, pointing resolutely from the past to the future, owes its existence to conditions before the Big Bang itself—a period modern cosmology of which Einstein never dreamed. Increasingly, though, physicists are going out into realms that make the theory of relativity seem like child’s play. Carroll’s scenario is not only elegant, it’s laid out in the same easy-to- understand language that has made his group blog, Cosmic Variance, the most popular physics blog on the Net. From Eternity to Here uses ideas at the cutting edge of theoretical physics to explore how properties of spacetime before the Big Bang can explain the flow of time we experience in our everyday lives. Carroll suggests that we live in a baby universe, part of a large family of universes in which many of our siblings experience an arrow of time running in the opposite direction. It’s an ambitious, fascinating picture of the universe on an ultra-large scale, one that will captivate fans of popular physics blockbusters like Elegant Universe and A Brief History of Time. Watch a Video
Quantum Gravity Book Summary : Quantum gravity is perhaps the most important open problem in fundamental physics. It is the problem of merging quantum mechanics and general relativity, the two great conceptual revolutions in the physics of the twentieth century. The loop and spinfoam approach, presented in this 2004 book, is one of the leading research programs in the field. The first part of the book discusses the reformulation of the basis of classical and quantum Hamiltonian physics required by general relativity. The second part covers the basic technical research directions. Appendices include a detailed history of the subject of quantum gravity, hard-to-find mathematical material, and a discussion of some philosophical issues raised by the subject. This fascinating text is ideal for graduate students entering the field, as well as researchers already working in quantum gravity. It will also appeal to philosophers and other scholars interested in the nature of space and time.
Why Beauty Is Truth Book Summary : At the heart of relativity theory, quantum mechanics, string theory, and much of modern cosmology lies one concept: symmetry. In Why Beauty Is Truth, world-famous mathematician Ian Stewart narrates the history of the emergence of this remarkable area of study. Stewart introduces us to such characters as the Renaissance Italian genius, rogue, scholar, and gambler Girolamo Cardano, who stole the modern method of solving cubic equations and published it in the first important book on algebra, and the young revolutionary Evariste Galois, who refashioned the whole of mathematics and founded the field of group theory only to die in a pointless duel over a woman before his work was published. Stewart also explores the strange numerology of real mathematics, in which particular numbers have unique and unpredictable properties related to symmetry. He shows how Wilhelm Killing discovered “Lie groups” with 14, 52, 78, 133, and 248 dimensions-groups whose very existence is a profound puzzle. Finally, Stewart describes the world beyond superstrings: the “octonionic” symmetries that may explain the very existence of the universe.
Angelmaker Book Summary : A Wall Street Journal and Booklist Best Mystery of 2012 From the acclaimed author of The Gone-Away World, blistering gangster noir meets howling absurdist comedy as the forces of good square off against the forces of evil, and only an unassuming clockwork repairman and an octogenarian former superspy can save the world from total destruction. Joe Spork spends his days fixing antique clocks. The son of infamous London criminal Mathew “Tommy Gun” Spork, he has turned his back on his family’s mobster history and aims to live a quiet life. That orderly existence is suddenly upended when Joe activates a particularly unusual clockwork mechanism. His client, Edie Banister, is more than the kindly old lady she appears to be—she’s a retired international secret agent. And the device? It’s a 1950s doomsday machine. Having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the British government and a diabolical South Asian dictator who is also Edie’s old arch-nemesis. On the upside, Joe’s got a girl: a bold receptionist named Polly whose smarts, savvy and sex appeal may be just what he needs. With Joe’s once-quiet world suddenly overrun by mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe, he realizes that the only way to survive is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she abandoned years ago and pick up his father’s old gun . . . From the Hardcover edition.
The Vital Question Book Summary : Why is life the way it is? Bacteria evolved into complex life just once in four billion years of life on earth-and all complex life shares many strange properties, from sex to ageing and death. If life evolved on other planets, would it be the same or completely different? In The Vital Question, Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a cogent solution to conundrums that have troubled scientists for decades. The answer, he argues, lies in energy: how all life on Earth lives off a voltage with the strength of a bolt of lightning. In unravelling these scientific enigmas, making sense of life's quirks, Lane's explanation provides a solution to life's vital questions: why are we as we are, and why are we here at all? This is ground-breaking science in an accessible form, in the tradition of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, and Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel.
Time Reborn Book Summary : In Time Reborn, Lee Smolin, one of our foremost physicists and thinkers offers a radical new view of the nature of time and the cosmos Nothing seems more real than time passing. We experience life itself as a succession of moments. Yet throughout history, the idea that time is an illusion has been a religious and philosophical commonplace. We identify certain truths as 'eternal' constants, from moral principles to the laws of mathematics and nature: these are laws that exist not inside time, but outside it. From Newton and Einstein to today's string theorists and quantum physicists, the widest consensus is that the universe is governed by absolute, timeless laws. In Time Reborn, Lee Smolin argues that this denial of time is holding back both physics, and our understanding of the universe. We need a major revolution in scientific thought: one that embraces the reality of time and places it at the centre of our thinking. E may equal mc squared now, but that wasn't always the case. Similarly, as our understanding of the universe develops, Newton's fundamental laws might not remain so fundamental. Time, Smolin concludes, is not an illusion: it is the best clue we have to fundamental reality. Time Reborn explains how the true nature of time impacts on us, our world, and our universe. 'The strongest dose of clarity in written form to have come along in decades. The implications go far beyond physics, to economics, politics, and personal philosophy. Time Reborn places reality above theory in stronger and clearer terms than ever before, and the result is a path to better theory and potentially to a better society as well. Will no doubt be remembered as one of the essential books of the 21st century' Jaron Lanier [Praise for Lee Smolin's The Trouble With Physics]: 'The best book about contemporary science written for the layman that I have ever read . . . Read this book. Twice' Sunday Times 'Unusually broad and deep . . . his critical judgments are exceptionally penetrating' Roger Penrose 'Brave, uniquely well-informed . . . does a tremendous job' Mail on Sunday Lee Smolin is a theoretical physicist who has made important contributions to the search for quantum gravity. Born in New York City, he was educated at Hampshire College and Harvard University. Since 2001 he is a founding faculty member at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His three earlier books explore philosophical issues raised by contemporary physics and cosmology. They are Life of the Cosmos (1997), Three Roads to Quantum Gravity (2001) and The Trouble with Physics (2006). He lives in Toronto.
Your Brain Is a Time Machine The Neuroscience and Physics of Time Book Summary : "Beautifully written, eloquently reasoned…Mr. Buonomano takes us off and running on an edifying scientific journey." —Carol Tavris, Wall Street Journal In Your Brain Is a Time Machine, leading neuroscientist Dean Buonomano embarks on an "immensely engaging" exploration of how time works inside the brain (Barbara Kiser, Nature). The human brain, he argues, is a complex system that not only tells time, but creates it; it constructs our sense of chronological movement and enables "mental time travel"—simulations of future and past events. These functions are essential not only to our daily lives but to the evolution of the human race: without the ability to anticipate the future, mankind would never have crafted tools or invented agriculture. This virtuosic work of popular science will lead you to a revelation as strange as it is true: your brain is, at its core, a time machine.