|1||Bob Harkins Branch||530.1 ROV||Book||Adult General Collection|
"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.
Carlo Rovelli was born on May 3, 1956 in Verona, Italy. He graduated from the University of Bologna (B.S. and M.S. in Physics) and the University of Padova (PhD in Physics).
His postdoctoral positions included University of Rome, Trieste, and Yale University. He is head of the quantum gravity group at the Aix-Marseille University, Centre de Physique Theorique and is an affiliated Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the University of Pittsburgh.
His recent book, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics (2016) is a New York Times bestseller.
(Bowker Author Biography)
Publisher's Weekly Review
In his latest explanatory work, Rovelli (Seven Brief Lessons on Physics), a theoretical physicist and proponent of loop quantum gravity, sets himself the difficult task of attempting to clarify for laypeople the most recent scientific theories about the nature of the universe. He begins with historical lessons, going back to philosophical questions posed in Western antiquity. Rovelli races forward through the work of Newton, Faraday, and Maxwell to get to how Einstein refined and added to the field theories of electromagnetism. One of the book's strengths is the picture Rovelli develops of how scientists build on the work of others. But the bulk of the book focuses on evaluating the perplexing nature of space and time, which, as they are commonly understood, appear to be little more than convenient constructs. "Space is created by the interaction of individual quanta of gravity," Rovelli writes, while "the world is made entirely made from quantum fields." The difficulty of understanding this aside, Rovelli smoothly conveys the differences between belief and proof, and concludes with a lovely chapter on being ignorant and eager for the next discovery. Rovelli's work is challenging, but his excitement is contagious and he delights in the possibilities of human understanding. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
In this beautifully written book, Rovelli (director, the quantum gravity group, Centre de Physique Théorique, Aix-Marseille Université; Seven Brief Lessons on Physics) describes the state of theoretical physics today and how we got there. He starts with the ancient Greek philosophers, some of whom noted that assuming space to be infinitely divisible leads to logical paradoxes and a few who proposed that the world was composed of indivisible small pieces that are constantly in motion. Throughout, the author refers back to the ancients and explains how their intuition was markedly prescient. Today our model of reality has two parts: quantum mechanics and general relativity. However, singularities arise when, as with black holes, we allow an object with mass to shrink to a point, which brings the two theories into conflict. To eliminate the singularities, the author proposes a theory of quantum gravity, which assumes that space itself is composed of a huge number of incredibly small quanta-not an infinite number of infinitesimal points. With full disclosure, Rovelli tells us that this is a work in progress and that many disagree with him. But he makes a convincing argument for his position and includes a lovely explanation of why time itself may be an illusion. Verdict This is not an easy read, but it is worth the effort. It includes neither experimental support nor mathematical formulas; an excellent choice for the intelligent layperson.-Harold D. Shane, Mathematics Emeritus, Baruch Coll., CUNY © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
|Introduction: Walking Along the Shore||p. 5|
|Part 1 Roots|
|1 Grains||p. 15|
|Is There A Limit to Divisibility?||p. 23|
|The Nature of Things||p. 32|
|2 The Classics||p. 41|
|Isaac and the Little Moon||p. 41|
|Michael: Fields and Light||p. 53|
|Part 2 The Beginning of the Revolution|
|3 Albert||p. 67|
|The Extended Present||p. 69|
|The Most Beautiful of Theories||p. 77|
|Mathematics or Physics?||p. 91|
|The Cosmos||p. 94|
|4 Quanta||p. 109|
|Albert Again||p. 110|
|Niels, Werner, and Paul||p. 114|
|Fields and Particles are the same thing||p. 126|
|Quanta 1 Information is Finite||p. 130|
|Quanta 2 Indeterminacy||p. 132|
|Quanta 3 Reality is Relational||p. 134|
|But Do We Really Understand?||p. 137|
|Part 3 Quantum Space and Relational Time|
|5 Spacetime Is Quantum||p. 147|
|The Loops' First Steps||p. 159|
|6 Quanta of Space||p. 161|
|Spectra of Volume and Area||p. 163|
|Atoms of Space||p. 169|
|Spin Networks||p. 171|
|7 Time Does Not Exist||p. 175|
|Time is not what we think it is||p. 177|
|The Candle Chandelier and the Pulse||p. 179|
|Spacetime Sushi||p. 183|
|What is the World Made Of?||p. 192|
|Part 4 Beyond Space and Time|
|8 Beyond the Big Bang||p. 201|
|The Master||p. 201|
|Quantum Cosmology||p. 206|
|9 Empirical Confirmations?||p. 210|
|Signs from Nature||p. 214|
|A Window onto Quantum Gravity||p. 218|
|10 Quantum Black Holes||p. 222|
|11 The End of Infinity||p. 230|
|12 Information||p. 238|
|Thermal Time||p. 249|
|Reality and Information||p. 253|
|13 Mystery||p. 258|
|Annotated Bibliography||p. 270|