Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity
If you ask the average person on the street if they’ve heard of string theory, they’ll probably say yes, but they’d be hard-pressed to explain what it is or why it’s important. And I assure you, most of them have never heard of loop quantum gravity, a competitor of string theory in some scientific circles.
Physicist Carlo Rovelli has the unenviable task of not only explaining quantum gravity, but doing so in a way that won’t flummox the average reader. Reality Is Not What It Seems is his attempt to do just that, and it’s an impressive one.
Rovelli takes the reader on a journey through the history of astronomy, physics, and other fields of science, traversing centuries with Aristotle, Pythagoras, and Democritus, then moving forward to Galileo and Newton, before diving deep into relativity and quantum mechanics with Einstein and those who followed in his footsteps.
But instead of overwhelming the reader with jargon and formulae, Rovelli tends toward the poetic in his descriptions and explanations, lending an otherworldly style to a mindbending subject. This isn’t always the most accessible way of going about things, but it is intriguing and undeniably memorable.