Monday, March 27, 2023

Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity, by Carlo Rovelli (author), Simon Carnell (translator), Erica Segre (translator), Roy McMillian (narrator)

Audible Audio, January 2014

Another interesting and well-written book about quantum physics and the nature of the universe.

Rovelli has some good things to say about the importance of science, and reviews the history of physics, starting with Demosthenes first hypothosizing the atom. It's lively and interesting, and including fun details I had previously missed. Then we get to the meat of the matter. What is the universe really made of?

The two main theories of the universe, general relativity and quantum physics. General relativity works very well at the scale of the large, while quantum physics works very well at the scale of the very small. The problem is that they don't work well together. And with black holes and the beginnings of the universe, we really need them to work together.

The most popular theory for making them work together has been string theory. String theory seems to work well, but seems not to have the kind of evidence physicists would like to see. Rovelli is not a supporter of string theory, based on the lack of evidence problem. Here he talks about another theory, loop quantum gravity.

His discussion of it makes it interesting. I freely admit I do not understand the math necessary for physics, but Rovelli makes it conceptually interesting and at least seemingly understandable. He says it has more supporting evidence than string theory, while freely admitting there's plenty of room for that to change.

It's an interesting and enjoyable book.

I have to take the efforts of the translators on faith, of course, but the results are enjoyable to listen to, and the narrator does a good job. 

I bought this audiobook.

No comments:

Post a Comment