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

Front Cover
Penguin, Jan 24, 2017 - Science - 288 pages
“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 and The Order of Time, 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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
3
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RandyMetcalfe - LibraryThing

Sometimes it's not what you understand or what you know for certain that really matters. It's acknowledging the limits of your understanding and still to be willing to press on. That, in fact, is ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - antao - LibraryThing

"The world of quantum mechanics is not a world of objects: it is a world of events". In "Reality Is Not What It Seems" by Carlo Rovelli Rovelli is more than right to rail against the schism of art and ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
1
Part
13
The Classics
41
Part
63
Quanta
109
Part Three
143
Quanta of Space
161
Time Does Not Exist
175
Part Four
192
Mystery
258
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2017)

Carlo Rovelli, an Italian theoretical physicist, is the head of the Quantum Gravity group at the Centre de Physique Théorique of Aix-Marseille University. He is one of the founders of the loop quantum gravity theory and the author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, an international bestseller translated into over forty languages, and the forthcoming The Order of Time. Rovelli lives in Marseille, France.

Bibliographic information