A concise, but deep exploration of the nature of our universe and how it works
What is the nature of our world, of space, time, even consciousness? Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is a short book that covers (you guessed it) seven topics, including Einstein’s theories, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics. While the concepts covered are incredibly complex, Carlo Rovelli, a theoretical physicist, writes in a way that doesn’t require the reader to have a degree in science to understand. It is an attempt to stimulate the reader’s curiosity, not a science textbook. In that sense, it is similar in style to Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time”, though shorter and less technical.
This quote, from a review in the Guardian, sums it up well:
“Rovelli’s book conveys a simple truth: physics is beautiful and awe-inspiring, its mysteries there for us all to muse upon.”
Spacetime – Space and time aren’t separate things, they are fused together. It goes against our intuition and what we used to believe about how the universe works. The author covers how Einstein’s special theory of relativity changed how we think about the topic.
Quantum mechanics – The universe operates in very different ways when you compare how galaxies work with how the smallest particles (like electrons) behave. The quantum world is very strange.
Thermodynamics – Heat, friction, movement, and vibration all come together to impact and interact with spacetime. Is heat one of the reasons why time behaves like it does? That’s an interesting question.
Consciousness – How does the knowledge of all of the topics above impact how we view ourselves and humanity? What does this mean for concepts like free will and what it means to be conscious? This was a fitting ending lesson to the book.
I love science. If you’re a science nerd, like me, I think you’ll enjoy this book. While it is written in a way to be understandable to the general public, it will likely be confusing for people who aren’t familiar with the deeper concepts in physics, especially the different theories of relativity.
Here’s a link to the Wiki page for this book (not much to see there). Here’s a link to the publisher’s website for the book. Lastly, here’s a link to the Wiki page for the author, Carlo Rovelli.