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
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These seven 'short lessons' guide us, with admirable clarity, through the scientific revolution that shook physics in the twentieth century and still continues to shake us today. In this short, playful, entertaining and mind-bending introduction to modern physics, 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 one hundred pages, readers will understand the most transformative scientific discoveries of the twentieth century. Not since Richard Feynman's celebrated best-seller Six Easy Pieceshas physics been so vividly, intelligently and entertainingly revealed. Carlo Rovelli is an eminent physicist with an extraordinary ability to write about complex topics in a lucid, clear prose. His book was top of the bestseller charts in Italy for months and has sold over 200,000 copies since publication in November. He is the head of the Équipe de Gravité Quantiqueat the Theoretical Physics Department of Aix-Marseille University. It has sold in over a dozen languages. 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. And it's breathtaking.
“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.
'A dazzling book ... the new Stephen Hawking' Sunday Times The bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics takes us on an enchanting, consoling journey to discover the meaning of time 'We are time. We are this space, this clearing opened by the traces of memory inside the connections between our neurons. We are memory. We are nostalgia. We are longing for a future that will not come.' Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe. With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery. Enlightening and consoling, The Order of Time shows that to understand ourselves we need to reflect on time -- and to understand time we need to reflect on ourselves. Translated by Simon Carnell and Erica Segre
'This witty book reveals the humbling vastness of our ignorance about the universe, along with charming insights into what we actually do understand' Carlo Rovelli, author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Reality Is Not What It Seems In our small corner of the universe, we know how some matter behaves most of the time and what even less of it looks like, and we have some good guesses about where it all came from. But we really have no clue what's going on. In fact, we don't know what about 95% of the universe is made of. So what happens when a cartoonist and a physicist walk into this strange, mostly unknown universe? Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson gleefully explore the biggest unknowns, why these things are still mysteries, and what a lot of smart people are doing to figure out the answers (or at least ask the right questions). While they're at it, they helpfully demystify many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humour and delight, they invite us to see the universe as a vast expanse of mostly uncharted territory that's still ours to explore. This is a book for fans of Brian Cox and What If. This highly entertaining highly illustrated book is perfect for anyone who's curious about all the great mysteries physicists are going to solve next.
This groundbreaking new book from New York Times bestselling author Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., introduces readers to his pioneering, science-based meditation practice. Aware provides practical instruction for mastering the Wheel of Awareness, a life-changing tool for cultivating more focus, presence, and peace in one's day-to-day life. An in-depth look at the science that underlies meditation's effectiveness, this book teaches readers how to harness the power of the principle "Where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural connection grows." Siegel reveals how developing a Wheel of Awareness practice to focus attention, open awareness, and cultivate kind intention can literally help you grow a healthier brain and reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in your life. Whether you have no experience with a reflective practice or are an experienced practitioner, Aware is a hands-on guide that will enable you to become more focused and present, as well as more energized and emotionally resilient in the face of stress and the everyday challenges life throws your way.
"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.
National Bestseller As concise and enlightening as Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, this mind-expanding dive into the mystery of consciousness is an illuminating meditation on the self, free will, and felt experience. What is consciousness? How does it arise? And why does it exist? We take our experience of being in the world for granted. But the very existence of consciousness raises profound questions: Why would any collection of matter in the universe be conscious? How are we able to think about this? And why should we? In this wonderfully accessible book, Annaka Harris guides us through the evolving definitions, philosophies, and scientific findings that probe our limited understanding of consciousness. Where does it reside, and what gives rise to it? Could it be an illusion, or a universal property of all matter? As we try to understand consciousness, we must grapple with how to define it and, in the age of artificial intelligence, who or what might possess it. Conscious offers lively and challenging arguments that alter our ideas about consciousness—allowing us to think freely about it for ourselves, if indeed we can.
The universe's ultimate mysteries, presented by "the world's finest minds" (The Guardian) Featuring a foreword by DANIEL KAHNEMAN, Nobel Prize-winning author of Thinking, Fast and Slow This is a little book of profound questions—unknowns that address the secrets of our world, our civilization, the meaning of life. Here are the deepest riddles that have fascinated, obsessed, and haunted the greatest thinkers of our time, including Nobel laureates, cosmologists, philosophers, economists, prize-winning novelists, religious scholars, and more than 250 leading scientists, artists, and theorists. In The Last Unknowns, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, asks "a mind-blowing gathering of innovative thinkers" (Booklist): "What is ‘The Last Question,’ your last question, the question for which you will be remembered?" Featuring the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel JARED DIAMOND • Nobel Prize-winning University of Chicago economist RICHARD THALER • Harvard psychologist STEVEN PINKER • religion scholar ELAINE PAGELS • author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics CARLO ROVELLI • Booker Prize–winning novelist IAN McEWAN • neuroscientist SAM HARRIS • philosopher DANIEL C. DENNETT • MIT theorist SHERRY TURKLE • decoder of the human genome J. CRAIG VENTER • The Coddling of the American Mind author JONATHAN HAIDT • Nobel Prize-winning physicist FRANK WILCZEK • UC Berkeley psychologist ALISON GOPNICK • philosopher REBECCA NEWBERGER GOLDSTEIN • New York Times columnist CARL ZIMMER • MIT cosmologist MAX TEGMARK • Whole Earth founder STEWART BRAND • "Marginal Revolution" economist TYLER COWEN • Anatomy of Love author HELEN FISHER • Noble Prize-winning NASA physicist JOHN C. MATHER • psychologist JUDITH RICH HARRIS • Princeton physicist FREEMAN DYSON • musician BRIAN ENO • environmental scientist JENNIFER JACQUET • Duke economist DAN ARIELY • Oxford philosopher A. C. GRAYLING • Harvard cosmologist LISA RANDALL • anthropologist MARY CATHERINE BATESON • Emotional Intelligence author DANIEL GOLEMAN • Harvard genticist GEORGE CHURCH • Blueprint author NICHOLAS A. CHRISTAKIS • Stanford political scientist MARGARET LEVI • economist ALAN S. BLINDER • publisher TIM O'REILLY • theoretical cosmologist JANNA LEVIN • Serpentine Gallery owner HANS ULRICH OBRIST • Wired founding editor KEVIN KELLY • Cambridge astrophysicist MARTIN REES, and more than 200 others.
Today's most visionary thinkers reveal the cutting-edge scientific ideas and breakthroughs you must understand. Scientific developments radically change and enlighten our understanding of the world -- whether it's advances in technology and medical research or the latest revelations of neuroscience, psychology, physics, economics, anthropology, climatology, or genetics. And yet amid the flood of information today, it's often difficult to recognize the truly revolutionary ideas that will have lasting impact. In the spirit of identifying the most significant new theories and discoveries, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("The world's smartest website" -- The Guardian), asked 198 of the finest minds What do you consider the most interesting recent scientific news? What makes it important? Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond on the best way to understand complex problems * author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Carlo Rovelli on the mystery of black holes * Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker on the quantification of human progress * TED Talks curator Chris J. Anderson on the growth of the global brain * Harvard cosmologist Lisa Randall on the true measure of breakthrough discoveries * Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek on why the twenty-first century will be shaped by our mastery of the laws of matter * philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein on the underestimation of female genius * music legend Peter Gabriel on tearing down the barriers between imagination and reality * Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson on the surprising ability of small (and cheap) upstarts to compete with billion-dollar projects. Plus Nobel laureate John C. Mather, Sun Microsystems cofounder Bill Joy, Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly, psychologist Alison Gopnik, Genome author Matt Ridley, Harvard geneticist George Church, Why Does the World Exist? author Jim Holt, anthropologist Helen Fisher, and more.