Did you know that there’s so much empty space inside matter that the entire human race could be squeezed into the volume of a sugar cube? Or that you grow old more quickly on the top floor of a building than on the ground floor?
The two towering achievements of modern physics are quantum theory and Einstein’s general theory of relativity. But, almost a century after their advent, most people haven’t the slightest clue what either is about. Get set for the most entertaining science book of the year.
©2007 Marcus Chown (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Though brilliantly read, this stuff is hard to grasp when you don't have the time to contemplate what you've just heard. That being said, it's so nice to be able to listen to it over and over again.
To a friend - and to an enemy - and to everyone. This book enables a non-scientist to comprehend the nature of existence
The recognition that atoms do not die. Gives credence to the religious belief that
Not condescending - a 'person-to-person' explanation in easily understandable words of a complex subject
Reaction was 'why hadn't I read this before?'
A must listen for everyone who accepts that the world is not flat
I am a "Life is Awesome! Strive to be Worthy of it." student of life kind of guy. Feeding on Chaos and Empowering the Good. Group Hug!
This is definitely the kind of book you can listen to a few times and get something new out of it each time. There was a countless number of times when he explained something that wow me into a spiral of deep thought and when I came out of it I realized I hadn't been listing to what was being said for several minutes and had to stop and rewind, thank god for that 30 second rewind button. If it wasn't for the fact that I have an iPhone, I would have warn that button out by now. Great Book.
"A fun, fascinating listen"
This is an interesting book although I am not sure why the author chose this title. The first four hours nicely cover the juicier aspects of QT, but once the principals that have arguably most popular appeal are exhausted, hours 5 and 6 move onto Special and General Relativity and then Cosmology. It could be argued that these subjects have aspects of QT, and the author ties it all up at the end talking about a complete theory of Quantum Gravity and the problems this is posing for science, but this book seems to have had its title chosen before the author wrote it. My point is that this book offers more than what it says on the cover and it should say so. The explanations are for the most part clear and interesting, but because of the breadth of the subject and the alien nature of some of the concepts, six hours does not do full justice to just how incredible some of the ideas are.
Small sections of this book are not ideal for audio, with some of the concepts best described by a simple diagram, but the vast majority of the book is well explained at a light, discussional level, making it a great introduction to what may seem an intimidating subject.
"Where to listen"
This book will tell you that you can be in two places at once, but I would just be in one place when listening, you might miss a very important bit! At no point during my time with this book did I find myself in two places, well I don't think I was.
I did find myself taking an extra deep breath when told that I was breathing atoms once touched by Marilyn Monroe.
I would suggest to those listeners who do not have a grounding or prior knowledge in quantum physics you may want to be in a fairly quiet place devoid of distractions.
I found myself chuckling on the tube thus drawing a few strange looks from my fellow travellers.
Some of the theories do take some head scratching and leaps of academic faith to grasp, some are just beyond my level of intellect, but they are all hugely entertaining.
A great 'listen/read'.
"I still don't get it. . but I like it!"
Sometimes you don't need to understand something to appreciate it, and quantum physics doesn't offer an easy explanation to anything. This book will not even make the subject matter any clearer. But that's the beauty of it. Chown delivers the reality of its complex nature in bitesize chunks of story telling using amusing examples to accommodate the listener. This is after all, not an attempt to clarify quantum theory, but more a brief explanation of the theories that surround it, including Einstein's general & special relativity.
I found this book most enjoyable and keen to return to. The sub-headings in each chapter provide adequate places to stop & a chance to restart on a fresh topic. It is well read and pleasing to the ear. A nice short book leaving the listener wanting more.
"Interesting read for the already enlightened"
This is a good popular science book, but it requires a bit of understanding of physics before you start, so not a complete beginners guide. (As you might think from the title.)
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