I happened to be loaned a copy of a tiny book called “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” written by Carlo Rovelli (published in 2014), purely by chance. I certainly enjoyed reading it and found it fascinating and illuminating. The first line of the preface says “These lessons were written for those who know little or nothing about modern science”, so this book is accessible by anyone with curiosity about how the universe works.
The aim of science is really just to try and understand how our world works – our world is temporary, and we’re here for an experience, but trying to understand it is one good way to experience it. By reading this book by Carlo Rovelli, you won’t understand everything that’s going on with the latest advances in physics (understanding of the observable world) but you will get a good flavour of some of the wonderful and amazing discoveries made recently, as you can see from the table of contents here.
Table of Contents – Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
- First Lesson – The Most Beautiful of Theories
- Second Lesson – Quanta
- Third Lesson – The Architecture of the Cosmos
- Fourth Lesson – Particles
- Fifth Lesson – Grains of Space
- Sixth Lesson – Probability, Time and the Heat of Black Holes
- In Closing – Ourselves
Then, as a rather obvious coincidence, I received the March-April edition of the magazine “Idler” and it contained an interview with Carlo Rovelli. Many of the articles in Idler magazine are entertaining and well written and this one, featuring an interview with Carlo Rovelli, was no exception. I was really surprised to receive this just as I was finishing Carlo’s book.
From the interview, the quote from Carlo that I like the most is;
I don’t understand why, to save some lives, we have to increase the poverty of the weakest.
Carlo Rovelli sounds like an interesting man. I imagine he’s the type of person that would be interesting to invite for dinner. I certainly recommend his short book “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” and I see from the article in Idler magazine that he has a new book just out called “Making Sense of the Quantum Revolution”. I’ll have to buy that.