• The Second Kind of Impossible

  • The Extraordinary Quest for a New Form of Matter
  • By: Paul J. Steinhardt
  • Narrated by: Peter Larkin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (230 ratings)

Prime logo Prime members: New to Audible?
Get 2 free audiobooks during trial.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
The Second Kind of Impossible  By  cover art

The Second Kind of Impossible

By: Paul J. Steinhardt
Narrated by: Peter Larkin
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $24.95

Buy for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's summary

One of the most fascinating scientific detective stories of the last 50 years, an exciting quest for a new form of matter. The Second Kind of Impossible plays like James Gleick’s Chaos combined with an Indiana Jones adventure.

When leading Princeton physicist Paul Steinhardt began working in the 1980s, scientists thought they knew all the conceivable forms of matter. The Second Kind of Impossible is the story of Steinhardt’s 35-year-long quest to challenge conventional wisdom. It begins with a curious geometric pattern that inspires two theoretical physicists to propose a radically new type of matter - one that raises the possibility of new materials with never-before-seen properties but that violates laws set in stone for centuries. Steinhardt dubs this new form of matter “quasicrystal”. The rest of the scientific community calls it simply impossible.

The Second Kind of Impossible captures Steinhardt’s scientific odyssey as it unfolds over decades, first to prove viability and then to pursue his wildest conjecture - that nature made quasicrystals long before humans discovered them. Along the way, his team encounters clandestine collectors, corrupt scientists, secret diaries, international smugglers, and KGB agents. Their quest culminates in a daring expedition to a distant corner of the Earth, in pursuit of tiny fragments of a meteorite forged at the birth of the solar system.

Steinhardt’s discoveries chart a new direction in science. They not only change our ideas about patterns and matter but also reveal new truths about the processes that shaped our solar system. The underlying science is important, simple, and beautiful - and Steinhardt’s firsthand account is an engaging scientific thriller.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Paul J. Steinhardt (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

More from the same

What listeners say about The Second Kind of Impossible

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    125
  • 4 Stars
    52
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    126
  • 4 Stars
    53
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance