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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics (2014)

by Carlo Rovelli

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,861747,239 (3.74)70
'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, simple lessons guide us through the scientific revolution that shook physics in the twentieth century and still continues to shake us today. Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, a founder of the loop quantum gravity theory. 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.… (more)
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English (62)  Italian (7)  Dutch (3)  Catalan (1)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
The acclaimed Rovelli- a theoretical physicist with a predilection for the loop quantum theory, an ambitious aim to combine general relativity and quantum mechanics, publishes the indubitably well-known, prominent book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. Indisputably the shortest physics book at a paltry 80 pages, the reader desires to be accessible and indeed dives into particle theory, the Standard Model, and fundamental pillars of quantum mechanics well.

Nevertheless, the lessons focus on modern physics, with few background theories on the development and only a scanty note on how the 20th-century scientific theories differ from the Newtonian era. Various elements are superficial, including the third chapter being simplistic (and somehow the mere one to contrast to pre-Einstein physics), and the author's relentless penchant for the fact that time passes somewhat faster on hills than (despite failing to clarify that is a diminutive difference until the author's next book, The Order of Time, in which Rovelli once again reiterates this). The author's tone is vexatious, striving to combine somewhat philosophical theories into a decidedly short physics book, with a nebulous and relatively poor ending that does not seem to concentrate such a lengthy chapter compared to the scanty information in the rest of the book. Finally, the book is devoid of references, which could seem acceptable as Rovelli is a seasoned specialist, and the ideas explored are straightforward, notwithstanding, The Order of Time contains some, hence, it is further nebulous. In conclusion, a thoroughly serviceable book, but ultimately both enhanced and marred by its shortness. ( )
  BGADESYN | Apr 4, 2022 |
I'm writing this many books away from when I read this at the start of the year, but any time I can I'm going to say read Carlo Rovelli's works. Seven Brief Lessons of Physics is a much easier pick-up/set-down book than some of his others, but they're all wonderful gateways to expand your vantage on the wild ways in which the components of our world - and worlds beyond - work. Personal order is: The Order of Time, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Reality Is Not What It Seems, Helgoland. ( )
1 vote pearlsnapped | Feb 24, 2022 |
Because I listened to the audiobook, my attention kept going in and out. I'll probably have to read the book. ( )
  ennuiprayer | Jan 14, 2022 |
After reading the Hegoland book I went on a bit of a Carlo Rovelli spree. Like his other writings this subtly espouses his particular view of quantum mechanics, but is not force-feeding it. A bit short on rigor in my opinion, but not without it's good points. I would recommend to interested non-technical readers. ( )
  SteveGuth | Jan 14, 2022 |
Nothing new under the sun. This book is more or less a recapitulation of the big picture in science, which ends up focusing on the problem Mr. Rovelli's institute in Marseille is trying to solve. The author tried to be a little too touchy feely in the last chapter. By the end of the book I did not feel that I understood any more or learned something that I didn't know before I read the book. ( )
  Marietje.Halbertsma | Jan 9, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carlo Rovelliprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carnell, SimonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segre, EricaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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These lessons were written for those who know little or nothing about modern science. (Preface)
In his youth Albert Einstein spent a year loafing aimlessly.
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'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, simple lessons guide us through the scientific revolution that shook physics in the twentieth century and still continues to shake us today. Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, a founder of the loop quantum gravity theory. 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.

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«Ci sono frontiere, dove stiamo imparando, e brucia il nostro desiderio di sapere. Sono nelle profondità più minute del tessuto dello spazio, nelle origini del cosmo, nella natura del tempo, nel fato dei buchi neri, e nel funzionamento del nostro stesso pensiero. Qui, sul bordo di quello che sappiamo, a contatto con l'oceano di quanto non sappiamo, brillano il mistero del mondo, la bellezza del mondo, e ci lasciano senza fiato». Tale è il presupposto di queste «brevi lezioni», che ci guidano, con ammirevole trasparenza, attraverso alcune tappe inevitabili della rivoluzione che ha scosso la fisica nel secolo XX e la scuote tuttora: a partire dalla teoria della relatività generale di Einstein e della meccanica quantistica fino alle questioni aperte sulla architettura del cosmo, sulle particelle elementari, sulla gravità quantistica, sulla natura del tempo e della mente.
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