Exhaustively researched and elegantly explained, Reality Is Not What It Seems details our search for truth among the seemingly opposed views of the 20th century’s most popular scientific theories, general relativity and quantum mechanics, and advances the theory of quantum gravity, which may just bridge the gap. Recommended By Gigi L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"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, 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.
"Rovelli writes with elegance, clarity and charm.... A joy to read, as well as being an intellectual feast." New Statesman
"Rovelli writes with crystalline simplicity.... 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." The Times
"Rovelli smoothly conveys the differences between belief and proof... his excitement is contagious and he delights in the possibilities of human understanding." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Carlo Rovelli, an Italian theoretical physicist, is the head of the quantum gravity group at the Centre de Physique Théorique of Aix-Marseille Université. He is one of the founders of the loop quantum gravity theory and author of the international bestseller Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. Rovelli lives in Marseille, France.