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

Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli takes readers on a fascinating adventure into the outer limits of space and into the smallest atom in Reality Is Not What It Seems. Expanding on the concepts described in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Rovelli explores the evolution of the world of physics. He considers early Greeks like Democritus, who pondered what the heavens consisted of; Einstein and his brilliant deductions of general relativity and special relativity; and the most modern concepts of loop quantum gravity, the Big Bounce, spinfoam and other mind-benders.

Rovelli manages to break down complex, proven ideas into smaller, easily assimilated concepts so those with little to no scientific background can understand the fundamental ideas being used today to understand and create our technological world. About quantum gravity, which is at the crux of the book, he writes, "An elementary structure of the world is emerging, generated by a swarm of quantum events, where time and space do not exist. Quantum fields draw together space, time, matter, and light, exchanging information between one event and another. Reality is a network of granular events; the dynamic that connects them is probabilistic; between one event and another, space, time, matter and energy melt into a cloud of probability." Drawings and tables help readers visualize the complicated, multi-part mathematics and concepts presented, and Rovelli's infectious enthusiasm and excitement for his subject help carry readers over the more difficult aspects, allowing one to let the imagination soar. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

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