Review: Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very simple and brief read on modern physics. The author primarily discussed two major developments in physics in the 20th century: general relativity and quantum mechanics. He later used both of these theories to describe our current understanding of very big things (cosmos) and very small things (subatomic particles).

In later parts of the book the author talks about how both of these theories view the universe in a fundamentally different way. General relativity views the world as curved space where everything is continuous, and in quantum mechanics the world is a flat space with discontinuous amounts of energy (quanta).

The last two lessons were unrelated and felt to me a bit out of place, but aside from that the book did definitely peak my curiosity and is pushing me to learn more about the subject.

My favorite part of the book was the lesson introducing the theory of general relativity and how it refined our understanding of the universe. The theory lead to predicting that the sun causes light to deviate, that time passes by more quickly high up than below, that space can expand and contract, that space cannot stand still, that space is currently expanding and that the expansion has been triggered by the explosion of an extremely hot and small universe (i.e. the big bang). The simplicity and elegance of how one theory could explain so much is breathtaking.

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