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Reality is not what it seems: the journey to quantum gravity Hardcover – 2016
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For our author is an exponent of “loop quantum gravity”, as opposed to string theory. Where Gravity is not a force – it is a property of space-time itself. This is where the physical picture of space is granular and is even smaller than the smallest type of atom. These granular forms of Space are joined together in loops. Therefore, what we experience is “the fabric resulting from” the constant and never-ending “swarming of this web of relations”.
This is a book that contains equations - but then again you do not need to understand them to better understand the narrative that is told in a clear way.
Having said that, I must congratulate Prof. Rovelli because he was able to convey the gist of loop quantum gravity without diving deep down into the gory mathematical details. Of course, without even summarizing such details, one can only get a very fuzzy and intuitive grasp of the matter, but that's better than nothing.
I was also excited to learn about LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), mission designed to detect and accurately measure gravitational waves from astronomical sources. According to Rovelli, what the famous LIGO did for detection of gravitational waves caused by black holes colliding, LISA will do for ancient black holes exploding, sort of a cosmic quantum gravitational background effect, similar to the famous cosmic microwave background radiation.
I also liked how Rovelli connected some of the scientific themes to literature and history, especially his references to "De rerum natura" and Dante, as well as establishing a continuity with the great thinkers of ancient Greece.
I think the chapter regarding the concept of "information" and the role it plays in modern physics theories could be expanded and clarified more. Instead of trying to introduce quantum mechanics and relativity for which we have great popular accounts, he could've used those pages to explain his ideas about information in more depth.
I can recommend this book to people who'd like to have an intuitive overview of an important direction where modern physics research is headed to. And it's always nice and inspirational to read an Italian author who knows his history and literature so well.