Reality Is Not What It Seems

Reality Is Not What It Seems : The Journey to Quantum Gravity

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'A global superstar... Professor Rovelli is making the grammar of the universe accessible to a new generation' (Channel 4 News)

From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics comes a new book about the mind-bending nature of the universe

Do space and time truly exist? What is reality made of? Can we understand its deep texture?

Scientist Carlo Rovelli has spent his whole life exploring these questions and pushing the boundaries of what we know. In this mind-expanding book, he shows how our understanding of reality has changed throughout centuries, from Democritus to loop quantum gravity. Taking us on a wondrous journey, he invites us to imagine a whole new world where black holes are waiting to explode, spacetime is made up of grains, and infinity does not exist -- a vast universe still largely undiscovered.

Translated by Simon Carnell and Erica Segre
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 147 x 219 x 25mm | 390g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241257964
  • 9780241257968
  • 27,838

Review Text

A global superstar... Professor Rovelli is making the grammar of the universe accessible to a new generation Channel 4 News
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Review quote

A global superstar... Professor Rovelli is making the grammar of the universe accessible to a new generation * Channel 4 News * Surely Rovelli deserves the title 'world's most inspiring physics teacher' * Daily Telegraph * A top-flight theoretical physicist with a rock star reputation * BBC Radio 4 World at One * The physicist transforming how we see the universe * Financial Times * The new book by Carlo Rovelli is an utter joy -- Adam Rutherford, author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived The man who makes physics sexy... the new Hawking... His writing is luminous. By the time I had finished reading I was in serious awe of the author -- David Aaronovitch * The Times * The latest thinking in physics is distilled in this primer... Why do you need yet another popularisation of theoretical physics? Because Rovelli writes with crystalline simplicity. And because he turns quantum physics into a coherent story, shaping it as a quest for a single, underlying "substratum" of reality - from Democritus's finite, indivisible atoms to Einstein -- James McConnachie * Sunday Times * Rovelli writes with elegance, clarity and charm... A joy to read, as well as being an intellectual feast -- Michael Brooks * New Statesman * Like all great thinkers, Rovelli has a talent for simplicity. His prose is lucid and poetic... It's not a scientific treatise. It's a paean to the wonder of the natural world... I scraped a C in my Physics O-level and haven't been near a physics textbook since. If I can understand - and even enjoy - Rovelli's book, then anyone can -- William Cook * Spectator * A hugely engaging book, which leaves the head spinning... From evaporating black holes to quantum fields, Rovelli is a charming, thought-provoking tour guide -- Manjit Kumar * Prospect * Be prepared for your intellectual foundations to be vaporised... Carlo Rovelli will melt your synapses with this exploration of physical reality and what the universe is formed of at the very deepest level... Quantum gravity is so new that there aren't many popular books about it. You couldn't be in better hands than Rovelli, a world expert -- Tara Shears * The Times Higher Education * A marvel... In exquisitely written pages Rovelli seeks to bridge the divide between what CP Snow called the "Two Cultures" of science and the arts -- Ian Thomson * Guardian * Occasional insights - for me that time is better thought of as change, and that everything changes at its own rate - may genuinely alter how you see the world... Rovelli offers a soaring vision... -- Tom Whipple * The Times * If your desire to be awestruck by the universe we inhabit needs refreshing, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli is up to the task * Elle * A comprehensive guide to the bewitching adventure of physics -- Lewis Jones * Daily Telegraph * Carlo Rovelli is the man behind the gigantic triumph of scientific popular writing, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics... His new book sets out to explore and explain some of the more difficult notions of theoretical physics. Space and time, the nature of reality, black holes, quantum theory - there doesn't seem to be much that Rovelli won't attempt to explain to us non-scientists, and Reality Is Not What It Seems has more of those answers to offer * Cultured Vultures * Some physicists, mind you, not many of them, are physicist-poets. They see the world or, more adequately, physical reality, as a lyrical narrative written in some hidden code that the human mind can decipher. Carlo Rovelli, the Italian physicist and author, is one of them... Rovelli's book is a gem. It's a pleasure to read, full of wonderful analogies and imagery and, last but not least, a celebration of the human spirit * NPR Cosmos & Culture * Carlo Rovelli has never been afraid to challenge the status quo -- Morgan Freeman
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About Carlo Rovelli

Carlo Rovelli is a theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions to the physics of space and time. He has worked in Italy and the US, and is currently directing the quantum gravity research group of the Centre de physique theorique in Marseille, France. His Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is an international bestseller translated into forty-one languages.
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Rating details

2,999 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 47% (1,401)
4 38% (1,133)
3 13% (404)
2 2% (49)
1 0% (12)
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