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Thursday, 3 March 2016

New and Notable: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

If the topic of physics seems daunting to you, perhaps even taking you back to the horror-show that was high school, you're not alone. But it's a truly fascinating realm of knowledge, so don't let residual adolescent misgivings keep you from learning about the wonders of the cosmos! Now thanks to this beautiful (and remarkably slim, given the subject matter) little 86-page volume, you can give physics another chance to win you over.

Carlo Rovelli, a theoretical physicist specializing in quantam gravity, has constructed an accessible  and thoroughly unintimidating primer on modern physics. With simple explanations of complex phenomenon, including diagrams, Seven Brief Lessons on the Cosmos does a fine job of presenting physics to non-scientists. Though its audience is the layperson, the content is based on rigorous, up to date scientific discovery. If you've ever been curious about "relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world," then Rovelli's got you covered. At last, answers to all the questions about the cosmos you've been too shy to ask!

In the great tradition of Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Rovelli is bringing physics to the masses. Rovelli's writing is clear and concise, but also reads with the crackle and grace of a well-paced story. Your high school teacher was right: science is amazing! Come on, dip a toe into the giant swirling vortex of the mysterious universe - you might be surprised just how fine the water is! 
   

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