• The Physics Book

  • Big Ideas Simply Explained
  • By: DK
  • Narrated by: Richard Trinder
  • Length: 15 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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The Physics Book  By  cover art

The Physics Book

By: DK
Narrated by: Richard Trinder
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Publisher's summary

Explore the laws and theories of physics in this accessible introduction to the forces that shape our universe, our planet, and our everyday lives.

Using a bold approach, The Physics Book sets out more than 80 key concepts and discoveries that have defined the subject and influenced our technology since the beginning of time. With the focus firmly on unpicking the thought behind each theory—as well as exploring when and how each idea and breakthrough came about—seven themed chapters examine the history and developments in areas such as energy and matter, and electricity and magnetism, as well as quantum, nuclear, and particle physics.

Eureka moments abound: from Pythagoras's observations of the pleasing harmonies created by vibrating strings, and Galileo's experiments with spheres, to Isaac Newton's apple and his conclusions about gravity and the laws of motion. You'll also learn about Albert Einstein's insights into relativity; how the accidental discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation confirmed the Big Bang theory; the search for the Higgs boson particle; and why most of our Universe is missing.

If you've ever wondered exactly how physicists formulated—and proved—these abstract concepts, The Physics Book is the book for you.

©2020 Dorling Kindersley Ltd (P)2020 DK Audio

Critic reviews

“Readers who want to know more about physics but are intimidated by the subject’s complexity will want to turn to The Physics Book”—Booklist

What listeners say about The Physics Book

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dense but Informative

I would suggest getting the physical book to accompany the audio, as there’s a significant amount of data you may want to dive deeper. Having the book on hand allows for notes on the data, rather than pausing and replaying the media. Ultimately good “fruit for thought.”

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6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • MT
  • 05-09-23

not worth your while

First of all, this type of topical book does not work as an audiobook and no formatting modifications have been made. The way the information here is presented, it would make sense visually, but compressed to a single line of audio, it’s rendered nearly incomprehensible.

Obviously the original text was filled with diagrams and illustrations, but this hasn’t any sort of companion PDF…

A more general criticism, the title and presentation are a bit misleading, and the sorting of concepts is not well-done, so that 'big ideas simply explained' apparently means reading a timeline. As the content is historical rather than scientific, there’s nothing to explain. If you were hoping for a discussion on various physical systems, this gives both excessive historical information and a disappointingly shallow meditation on concepts.
Take for example this excerpt: 'length and time are independent but the definition of metre is dependent on the definition of a second' — tantalising statement but clarified? Never. (Answer: light moves at a constant speed in a vacuum, so after fixing a fraction of a second as the metric, one can mathematically determine the length of the metre (distance light travelled at constant speed in fixed time). Would have taken them about 5 extra seconds to mention that.

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3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Too much repeat

Good content but could be covered in half the time, each topic is covered then covered again, once in general and once in more detail which I found hard to follow

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Excellent structure, story, voice, imagery and very detailed. Easy to listen to and very entertaining.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The world make so much more sense!

I love how this audio book book is sectioned into quick easy clips averaging 10 minutes each. As the description states it puts all discoveries in chronological order and explains the when, who, what, why, where, & how. I finally know why we call it electricity and use an amp for measurement! This book is dense so I’ve restarted it 3 times to get what I missed on the last listen. I’m hooked on this entire series. Once I’ve absorbed all of this one I’ll move on to the other books in this series! I’ve already sent links to this series to friends, family, and coworkers! I recommend it to you too:)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent book on history of physics

This book goes through the history of physics and many, many people who contributed to what we have today. Terrific book!

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