Beyond Appearances Quantum Gravity and the Fabric of Reality Publication date : January 21, 2015
Carlo Rovelli is internationally recognised as one of the founders of loop quantum gravity, a daring theory that provides access to the Universe’s first instants. He is the director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Physics at Marseille-Luminy University.
Some great scientists have the gift of explaining a complex discipline in clear, comprehensible terms. The physicist Carlo Rovelli is one of them. Space, time and matter come to life here in a fascinating saga that has often shaken our worldview, beginning 23 centuries ago with Democritus’s common-sense reasoning to present-day quantum gravity equations.
For Rovelli, the goal of physics is to provide a new approach, one that is increasingly simple and more beautiful. In the past, matter was assumed to be located in space and to evolve in time. But quantum gravity has unified these three concepts into a single entity: a covariant quantum field, which, on a minute scale, produces its own space, time and matter.
Clearly and often with a touch of humour, Rovelli takes us on a scientific and literary ramble, filled with surprises and brilliant intuitions: Hadn’t Dante already caught a glimpse of the universe as physicists now see it? Rovelli is always modest about his erudition: when he is asked if his theory of quantum gravity is correct, he replies that only Nature has the answer and that it will surely be a surprising one.
• Quantum gravity, the most complex theory in contemporary physics, explained in an accessible manner for the general reader. A major work that will interest a wide audience: scientists, students, teachers and the general public.