- Publisher: Allen Lane (September 24, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0241235960
- ISBN-13: 978-0241235966
- Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Hardcover – September 24, 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
The author is one of the inventors of loop quantum gravity which says that space is not continuous but it is made of grains, significantly smaller than an electron, and they are linked to each other forming a network. Quantum gravity essentially refers to quantum properties of space-time and not the quantum behavior of matter in spacetime. But the author has not discussed loop quantum gravity theory in any depth in this book.
The author muses on human existence and our perception of physical reality. It is a song of god in which matter (energy) behave in spacetime in a certain way, and this guided by a set of physical laws. The Newtonian physics, relativistic physics, quantum physics and thermodynamics somehow connect with each other to create the nature of reality. But we are further away in comprehending it and Carlo Rovelli understands this better than other physicists.
In this short and highly readable book, Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli leads us through a tour of what he thinks are seven of the foremost ideas (or "lessons') in physics. These are ideas which have not just furthered our understanding of our material world but which have also expanded our consciousness and connected us to our origins and future. Rovelli’s writing is often poignant and beautiful, simple and without frills and from the heart, and I would be lying if I said the experience wasn't uplifting. Personally I would have included an extra eighth lesson on chaos theory and complexity since I think those are going to be key scientific issues in the 21st century. Also, there is little new per se in here which would not be familiar to physics aficionados. But as it stands Rovelli's offering is a marvelous feast which should ignite a renewed sense of inspiration regarding the reach and beauty of science even in hardened veterans.
The first lesson is about Einstein's general theory of relativity which saw yet another towering validation this year with the discovery of gravitational waves. The Russian physicist Lev Landau called it the "most beautiful theory" and I would say there would be few contenders for that title. The basic equation of the theory fits on a napkin, and the essentials of the framework are both startling and elegant.Read more ›
Hitherto, my last experience with physics was a 2nd semester senior class in high school when, (having been accepted to university), I temporarily lost patience for absorbing further conceptual learning. I did, however, have ample capacity for sniggering at the nerds in the class who were capable of using physics concepts, 3 paper clips and assorted other parts to construct a functioning radio.
I read about this book in the Economist. I bought this book, in part, to atone for my high school sins, and also to finally overcome my phobia of the general theory of relativity. I also wanted it as a quick way to get refreshed on key physics concepts in "bite size" bits, suitable for impressing people at parties. (Because To be impressive at parties, everyone really should have their own "elevator speech" ready on the meaning of the theory of relativity, right?)
This book gave me both more—and less—than I bargained for. I still don’t have my elevator speeches on topics such as relativity, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics or black holes; the lessons are indeed elegant but without sufficient detail to fully master the topics at hand. In fact, if anything, the simplicity and elegance of the book have made me feel even stupider than when I started…”if this Italian Physics professor can describe these things so simply and elegantly, I really must be a half-wit, because I’m still mystified.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The chapter are laid out well but the lessons are really too sketchy.Published 3 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful. Illuminating. Beautifully written, though not an easy read. With patience and thought you will be able to understand and enjoy the science.Published 15 hours ago by Seth Cohen
brief, concise, clear, expanded my understanding of advanced physics.Published 16 hours ago by BRHS Butch
The physics explanations were excellent clarifications of very complex subjects, about which Professor Rovellie demonstrated great expertise. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Sidney Halperen
Short, but to the point and well written. Interesting perspective on physics / sciencePublished 2 days ago by michael fox
This brief but broad review of contemporary physics will not only entertain you but will send you looking for more writing on recent scientific writing.Published 3 days ago by David W. Gagne