Friday, 30 December 2016

Review: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

Title: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
Author: Carlo Rovelli
Translated By: Simon Carnell and Erica Segre
Publisher:  Penguin
Pages: 96
Genres: Non-Fiction, Science

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 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.
This teeny tiny non-fiction book really packs a punch. Just as the title indicates, it consists of seven very short lessons on physics and is written to be accessible to everyone even those with no knowledge of physics or science at all. I loved reading this little gem.

I hated physics at school, but this book was surprisingly enjoyable and although Rovelli claims that this book can be understood by all, I can't say that I fully understood everything he talked about. I would have liked him to take more time explaining quantum mechanics for example or even to go into more depth about how physics contradicts our perception of time. Nonetheless, it was all just fascinating and the only criticism I have is that it was too short.

Carlo Rovelli's writing has an almost philosophical and dreamlike quality when he is explaining how physics is relevant to all of us and how much mysteries there still are to solve and even some things that we may just never know. Oddly the narrative really relaxed me and it really made me appreciate just how unimportant Earth and humans are in regards to the full size of the universe as we know it. It was a comfort to me. I could wax lyrical about the writing but at ninety-six pages long, there really isn't any reason for anyone not to take the time to read this. Highly recommend.

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