Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

3.93 (10,549 ratings by Goodreads)
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Independent, Economist, Telegraph, Guardian, New Scientist, Evening Standard Books of the Year 2015, The Sunday Times Bestseller. Everything you need to know about modern physics, the universe and our place in the world in seven enlightening lessons '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' 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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 96 pages
  • 120 x 187 x 15mm | 153g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • ALLEN LANE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main ed.
  • 0241235960
  • 9780241235966
  • 5,556

Review quote

A surprise bestseller... the most interesting of the year's science books Daily Telegraph The new cult book... likely to become this year's stocking-filler sensation Evening Standard Sparse, elegant and most of all readable... at the end of it you feel more clever. Rovelli has achieved something unheard of in books about theoretical physics: most of the people who have started his book have also probably finished it -- Tom Whipple The Times Everyone tells me that this year the book to read is Carlo Rovelli's Seven Brief Lessons on Physics Guardian An understanding of the world requires a basic understanding of physics; something which has just become a little easier thanks to a cult book by an Italian academic which is due to be stuffed into an extraordinary number of stockings this Christmas... Not since Stephen Hawking's (admittedly hard-going) Brief History of Time has there been such a consensual success in the science book market -- Ian Thomson Spectator There have been plenty of attempts in recent years to explain the basic concepts of physics to us, but few as elegant and concise as Carlo Rovelli's... there's enough food for thought here to last a lifetime -- Nick Rennison Daily Mail A slim poetic meditation... Rovelli belongs to a great Italian tradition of one-culture science writing that encompasses the Roman poet Lucretius, Galileo, Primo Levi and Italo Calvino. The physics here is comprehensible and limpid, and Rovelli gives it an edge through his clear-eyed humanistic interpretations -- Best science books Independent A startling and illustrative distillation of centuries of science... Mr Rovelli moves elegantly between illustrative metaphors, without ever mixing or belabouring any of them... The book's triumph lies not only in presenting some of the headiest stuff science has produced in so few pages, but also in giving real insight into how science treats those ideas Economist The slim volume is stereotypically the province of poetry, but this beautifully designed little book shows that science, with its curiosity, its intense engagement with what there really is, its readiness to jettison received ways of seeing, is a kind of poetry too Financial Times With luck, Rovelli's charming, lyrical invitation may well achieve Feynman's original goal: to get students excited about the biggest questions in physics, inspiring them to dig in and push right to the heart of the unknown -- David Kaiser Guardian If you want to understand what gets physicists out of bed in the morning, there is no better guide than Rovelli... Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is an absorbing, lovely book... This is physics as romantic poetry and, by God, it's beguiling -- Michael Brooks New Statesman Rovelli has a rare knack for conveying the top line of scientific theories in clear and compelling terms without succumbing to the lure of elaborate footnotes... a breath of fresh air -- Nicola Davis Observer It is amazing that such a short book can dig to such satisfying depths -- Stephen Curry Guardian Wonderfully clear and vivid. Carlo Rovelli manages to convey the mystery of very large things and very small things with brilliant effect -- Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials Utterly blown away by the concise beauty of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli. Science as poetry. Awe inspiring -- Michael Bhaskar, author of The Content Machine No one should hold office unless they have read Carlo Rovelli's Seven Brief Lessons on Physics -- Nick Harkaway, author of The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker Brilliant... In a mere 78 pages, he paints a magnificent fresco, depicting with sweeping brushstrokes the great ideas and discoveries that revolutionised physics and our understanding of the world in the 20th century... Rovelli writes with clarity and verve, vividly bringing to life concepts that can often appear incomprehensible, and inviting readers to see the world anew. Few writers, let alone physicists, capture the beauty of nature and the excitement of its discovery in such clear, rich prose... It's hard to imagine a more coherent, inspiring introduction to modern physics. It really is an enchanting little volume New Scientist Delightful... The metaphors are vivid, the visions dramatic Nature Carlo Rovelli explains what makes us who we are, how the universe spins around us (or rather, how it doesn't) and most importantly how to put your physicist friends on the back foot by casually dropping an equation into polite conversation Big Issue Carlo Rovelli has never been afraid to challenge the status quo -- Morgan Freeman Science Channel There is enough food for thought in this stylish tour of modern physics to whet the appetite -- Richard Lea TLS Plain words can be utterly beautiful when they tell a thrilling story. Carlo Rovelli's words take us on a great adventure as the human mind reaches out to understand the universe. The book is a joy -- Alan Alda This brief and beautiful introduction to a few key discoveries of modern physics reminds us that the roots of science are curiosity and wonder -- Lee Smolin, author of Time Reborn and The Trouble with Physics Intense and extremely beautiful Corriere della Sera Scientists are poets and their theories appear to capture the meaning of everything La Stampashow more

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.show more

Rating details

10,549 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 31% (3,302)
4 39% (4,162)
3 23% (2,385)
2 5% (527)
1 2% (173)
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