Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

Purchased along with a copy of Hollow City (The second book in the Miss Peregrine’s Children series (My sister’s purchase (She bought both but she owed me some money so please don’t start thinking I bullied my sister into buying this))) and possibly one of my favourite non-fiction texts to date. Considering my already large reading pile (Mostly school (History) and personal reading (James Bond)) I probably didn’t need to add another book to the pile but when it’s only 79 pages long and, more importantly, about physics it does feel like a bit of a no-brainer as an opportunity to expand my knowledge.

I have tried reading several different Physics books prior to picking up this book. These include Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and James Kakalios’ The Physics of Superheroes. These, in their own right, are both great books but I just can’t read them from cover to cover because I have to confess to my bafflement resulting in a loss of interest. Despite loving Physics, I’m not the most able physicist (Though I endeavour to change that, I assure you). Here, Rovelli provides not only a short but understandable set of chapters on topics that I now I found more  comprehendible (Though I will have to re-read this (Both for cementing my understanding and because I enjoyed it enough to want to read it again)).

Rovelli’s 7 lessons , covered originally in an Italian newspaper and now translated and published in this book, include: Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, Quantum Theory, the Architecture of Space, Particles, Black Holes, Probability, Time and Heat of Black Holes and, finally, Humanity in all it’s complexity. These topics are still far from a level of complete understanding in my mind but I find them far less terrifying to hear about. Rovelli manages to not only simplify the topics to an understandable level but also in a way which presents them as truly beautiful. A child-like grin spread across my face more than once whilst reading this, I can’t deny.

For anyone interested in Physics I can’t recommend this book enough. Even if you do not have a great deal of interest in Physics this book, I imagine would still be of some interest. Some briefer summaries can be found on the official website which can be found here (It is also rather enjoyable if you fancy playing around with some of the interactive features on each lesson (What’s not to love?)). If you have any thoughts or questions about the book please leave them in the comments.

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