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The Universe in the Rearview Mirror
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The Order of Time
 By: Carlo Rovelli
 Narrated by: Benedict Cumberbatch
 Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
 Unabridged

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In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike. For most listeners, this is unfamiliar terrain. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it appears. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where, at the most fundamental level, time disappears.


Rovelli is a Genius
 By Mike on 051118

The Joy of x
 A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity
 By: Steven Strogatz
 Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
 Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
 Unabridged

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Many people take math in high school and promptly forget much of it. But math plays a part in all of our lives all of the time, whether we know it or not. In The Joy of x, Steven Strogatz expands on his hit New York Times series to explain the big ideas of math gently and clearly, with wit, and insight.


Great listen
 By cameron on 081619

Einstein's Unfinished Revolution
 The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum
 By: Lee Smolin
 Narrated by: Katharine Lee McEwan
 Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
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A daring new vision of quantum theory from one of the leading minds of contemporary physics. In Einstein's Unfinished Revolution, theoretical physicist Lee Smolin provocatively argues that the problems that have bedeviled quantum physics since its inception are unsolved and unsolvable, for the simple reason that the theory is incomplete.


A Brave Defense of Local Realism
 By Richard E Seeger on 082619

Our Mathematical Universe
 My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality
 By: Max Tegmark
 Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
 Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
 Unabridged

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Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy, and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mindboggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist.


Wow!
 By Michael on 020214

Three Roads to Quantum Gravity
 By: Lee Smolin
 Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
 Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
 Unabridged

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Performance

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In Three Roads to Quantum Gravity, Lee Smolin provides an accessible overview of the attempts to build a final "theory of everything." He explains in simple terms what scientists are talking about when they say the world is made from exotic entities such as loops, strings, and black holes and tells the fascinating stories behind these discoveries: the rivalries, epiphanies, and intrigues he witnessed firsthand.


Physics still in trouble
 By Philomath on 110918

The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved
 How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry
 By: Mario Livio
 Narrated by: Tom Parks
 Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
For thousands of years mathematicians solved progressively more difficult algebraic equations, until they encountered the quintic equation, which resisted solution for three centuries. Working independently, two prodigies ultimately proved that the quintic cannot be solved by a simple formula. The first popular account of the mathematics of symmetry and order, The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved is told not through abstract formulas but in a beautifully written and dramatic account of the lives and work of some of the greatest and most intriguing mathematicians in history.


Sad stories, complex math, good read
 By David on 011619

The Order of Time
 By: Carlo Rovelli
 Narrated by: Benedict Cumberbatch
 Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
In lyric, accessible prose, Carlo Rovelli invites us to consider questions about the nature of time that continue to puzzle physicists and philosophers alike. For most listeners, this is unfamiliar terrain. We all experience time, but the more scientists learn about it, the more mysterious it appears. We think of it as uniform and universal, moving steadily from past to future, measured by clocks. Rovelli tears down these assumptions one by one, revealing a strange universe where, at the most fundamental level, time disappears.


Rovelli is a Genius
 By Mike on 051118

The Joy of x
 A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity
 By: Steven Strogatz
 Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
 Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Many people take math in high school and promptly forget much of it. But math plays a part in all of our lives all of the time, whether we know it or not. In The Joy of x, Steven Strogatz expands on his hit New York Times series to explain the big ideas of math gently and clearly, with wit, and insight.


Great listen
 By cameron on 081619

Einstein's Unfinished Revolution
 The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum
 By: Lee Smolin
 Narrated by: Katharine Lee McEwan
 Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
A daring new vision of quantum theory from one of the leading minds of contemporary physics. In Einstein's Unfinished Revolution, theoretical physicist Lee Smolin provocatively argues that the problems that have bedeviled quantum physics since its inception are unsolved and unsolvable, for the simple reason that the theory is incomplete.


A Brave Defense of Local Realism
 By Richard E Seeger on 082619

Our Mathematical Universe
 My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality
 By: Max Tegmark
 Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
 Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy, and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mindboggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist.


Wow!
 By Michael on 020214

Three Roads to Quantum Gravity
 By: Lee Smolin
 Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
 Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
In Three Roads to Quantum Gravity, Lee Smolin provides an accessible overview of the attempts to build a final "theory of everything." He explains in simple terms what scientists are talking about when they say the world is made from exotic entities such as loops, strings, and black holes and tells the fascinating stories behind these discoveries: the rivalries, epiphanies, and intrigues he witnessed firsthand.


Physics still in trouble
 By Philomath on 110918

The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved
 How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry
 By: Mario Livio
 Narrated by: Tom Parks
 Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
For thousands of years mathematicians solved progressively more difficult algebraic equations, until they encountered the quintic equation, which resisted solution for three centuries. Working independently, two prodigies ultimately proved that the quintic cannot be solved by a simple formula. The first popular account of the mathematics of symmetry and order, The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved is told not through abstract formulas but in a beautifully written and dramatic account of the lives and work of some of the greatest and most intriguing mathematicians in history.


Sad stories, complex math, good read
 By David on 011619

Lost in Math
 How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
 By: Sabine Hossenfelder
 Narrated by: Laura Jennings
 Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Whether pondering black holes or predicting discoveries at CERN, physicists believe the best theories are beautiful, natural, and elegant, and this standard separates popular theories from disposable ones. This is why, Sabine Hossenfelder argues, we have not seen a major breakthrough in the foundations of physics for more than four decades. The belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it now conflicts with scientific objectivity: Observation has been unable to confirm mindboggling theories, like supersymmetry or grand unification, invented by physicists based on aesthetic criteria.


A rare glimpse into the inner world of physics
 By Joe on 120818

The Universe Speaks in Numbers
 How Modern Math Reveals Nature's Deepest Secrets
 By: Graham Farmelo
 Narrated by: Hugh Kermode
 Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
One of the great insights of science is that the universe has an underlying order. The supreme goal of physicists is to understand this order through laws that describe the behavior of the most basic particles and the forces between them. For centuries, we have searched for these laws by studying the results of experiments. Since the 1970s, however, experiments at the world's most powerful atomsmashers have offered few new clues. So some of the world's leading physicists have looked to a different source of insight: modern mathematics.


Great story and narration, but lacks rigor...
 By James S. on 053119

Quantum Space
 Loop Quantum Gravity and the Search for the Structure of Space, Time, and the Universe
 By: Jim Baggott
 Narrated by: Nigel Patterson
 Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Today we are blessed with two extraordinarily successful theories of physics. The first is Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which describes the largescale behavior of matter in a curved spacetime. The second is quantum mechanics. This theory describes the properties and behavior of matter and radiation at their smallest scales.


Interesting but not Convincing
 By Michael on 100819

Reality Is Not What It Seems
 The Journey to Quantum Gravity
 By: Carlo Rovelli, Simon Carnell  translator, Erica Segre  translator
 Narrated by: Roy McMillan
 Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
What are time and space made of? Where does matter come from? And what exactly is reality? Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli has spent his whole life exploring these questions and pushing the boundaries of what we know. Here he explains how our image of the world has changed over the last few dozen centuries.


Most compelling physics book in at least 10 years!
 By Kyle on 020317

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
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
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 35yearlong 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 neverbeforeseen properties but that violates laws set in stone for centuries.


In anticipation of low review marks...
 By James S. on 051419

Infinite Powers
 How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe
 By: Steven Strogatz
 Narrated by: Bob Souer
 Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Infinite Powers recounts how calculus tantalized and thrilled its inventors, starting with its first glimmers in ancient Greece and bringing us right up to the discovery of gravitational waves. Strogatz reveals how this form of math rose to the challenges of each age: how to determine the area of a circle with only sand and a stick; how to explain why Mars goes "backwards" sometimes; how to turn the tide in the fight against AIDS.


Elegant, clear, cutting edge.
 By Amazon Customer on 090519

When Einstein Walked with Gödel
 Excursions to the Edge of Thought
 By: Jim Holt
 Narrated by: David Stifel
 Length: 15 hrs and 19 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Does time exist? What is infinity? Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down? In this scintillating collection, Holt explores the human mind, the cosmos, and the thinkers who’ve tried to encompass the latter with the former. With his trademark clarity and humor, Holt probes the mysteries of quantum mechanics, the quest for the foundations of mathematics, and the nature of logic and truth. Along the way, he offers intimate biographical sketches of celebrated and neglected thinkers, from the physicist Emmy Noether to the computing pioneer Alan Turing and the discoverer of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot.


A good overview of scientific theory
 By Tracy Rowan on 091118

Physics of the Impossible
 A Scientific Exploration
 By: Michio Kaku
 Narrated by: Feodor Chin
 Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. In Physics of the Impossible, the renowned physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent the technologies and devices of science fiction that are deemed equally impossible today might well become commonplace in the future.


Huge fan of Michio Kaku!!
 By Samantha on 012614

The Big Picture
 On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself
 By: Sean Carroll
 Narrated by: Sean Carroll
 Length: 17 hrs and 22 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Already internationally acclaimed for his elegant, lucid writing on the most challenging notions in modern physics, Sean Carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on the Higgs boson and extra dimensions but now also on our deepest personal questions. Where are we? Who are we? Are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void?


Keeping this on REPEAT for months to come
 By Chris Akers on 061016

Ripples in Spacetime
 Einstein, Gravitational Waves, and the Future of Astronomy
 By: Govert Schilling, Martin Rees
 Narrated by: Joel Richards
 Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Ripples in Spacetime is an engaging account of the international effort to complete Einstein's project, capture his elusive ripples, and launch an era of gravitationalwave astronomy that promises to explain, more vividly than ever before, our universe's structure and origin. The quest for gravitational waves involved years of risky research and many personal and professional struggles that threatened to derail one of the world's largest scientific endeavors.


Absolutely Loved it.
 By Quidne IT on 101117

Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire
 The Biggest Ideas in Science from Quanta
 By: Thomas Lin  editor, Sean Carroll  foreword
 Narrated by: Bob Souer
 Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Bringing together the best and most interesting science stories appearing in Quanta Magazine over the past five years, Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire reports on some of the greatest scientific minds as they test the limits of human knowledge. It communicates science by taking it seriously, wrestling with difficult concepts, and clearly explaining them in a way that speaks to our innate curiosity about our world and ourselves.


Broad collection of specific physics applications
 By James S. on 062619

Something Deeply Hidden
 Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime
 By: Sean Carroll
 Narrated by: Sean Carroll
 Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
 Unabridged

Overall

Performance

Story
Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist and one of this world’s most celebrated writers on science, rewrites the history of 20thcentury physics. Already hailed as a masterpiece, Something Deeply Hidden shows for the first time that facing up to the essential puzzle of quantum mechanics utterly transforms how we think about space and time. His reconciling of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity changes, well, everything. Most physicists haven’t even recognized the uncomfortable truth: Physics has been in crisis since 1927.


The Best Layperson Book on Quantum Physics
 By Conrad Barski on 091119
Publisher's Summary
A physicist speeds across space, time, and everything in between showing that our elegant universe from the Higgs boson to antimatter to the most massive group of galaxies is shaped by hidden symmetries that have driven all our recent discoveries about the universe and all the ones to come. Why is the sky dark at night? Is it possible to build a shrinkray gun? If there is antimatter, can there be antipeople? Why are past, present, and future our only options? Are time and space like a butterfly's wings? No one but Dave Goldberg, the coolest nerd physicist on the planet, could give a hyperdrive tour of the universe like this one. Not only does he answer the questions your stoner friends came up with in college, but he also reveals the most profound discoveries of physics with infectious, Carl Saganlike enthusiasm and accessibility.
Goldberg's narrative is populated with giants from the history of physics, and the biggest turns out to be an unsung genius and Nazi holocaust escapee named Emmy Noether the other Einstein. She was unrecognized, even unpaid, throughout most of her career simply because she was a woman. Nevertheless, her theorem relating conservation laws to symmetries is widely regarded to be as important as Einstein's notion of the speed of light. Einstein himself said she was the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began. Symmetry is the unsung great idea behind all the big physics of the last 100 years and what lies ahead. In this book, Goldberg makes mindbending science not just comprehensible but gripping. Fasten your seat belt.
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 serine
 033116
Very relatable
If you are fan of ELI5, explain it to me like I'm five, on reddit, you will love this book. Dave Goldberg provides a tour of the universe that is a mashup of Cracked.com, a classroom lecture with the professor who wants to be your best friend, and a serious physics book.
Goldberg focuses on the most fundamental symmetries in the universe (e.g. spin of a particle) and explains how the breaking of symmetry gives rise to everything we have ever or will ever see. You will not feel bogged down by memorizing particles in this book. His focus is more on spin and how spin (and a negative sign) are the reason you are alive. I loved this approach to viewing the universe.
His explanation of the Pauli exclusion principle and Hawking radiation were fabulous. He also spends quite a bit of time trying to understand how the universe went from a state of low entropy to high entropy. He states flat out that it is, 'just because it is," but then went on to examine it quite a few times in, what I found to be, satisfying ways.
This book seems like a much quicker read than some other books of the same length. His, almost too cheesy, humor and writing style keep each concept relatable and zooming along. Before you know it, you will be at the end of the book and will have understood it all without rereading it.
At the very end he supposed that the journey from low entropy to high was how life began. I understand that it was beyond the scope of this book. But I would have very much loved it if he took a little bit more time to discuss that further. The work of Mike Russle, Nick Lane, and others working on origin of life research at the hydrothermal vents are changing how humans view the star of evolution (thermodynamic process occurring at vents that push molecules through rocky membranes), and I think physicists should be taking part in that discussion to help the paradigm shift occur more swiftly.
This book was really great.
3 people found this helpful

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 Michael
 083113
Good, but for whom?
This is a very light tone, very high level survey of a very wide range of symmetries in physics. This was a pleasant listen, but I did not learn a lot nor where there novel ideas that got me thinking, thus I ended up a bit disappointed. It was a nice for a very high level survey, but I am not sure what audience would appreciate this level of detail. It seems to me a lot of background in needed to understand a number of the symmetries but the book seems targeted at a pretty low level of knowledge. The author mentions the Twin Paradox and notes that the Twin Paradox is often misunderstood but then just drops it (why bring it up at all?). I wish he had explained how such a twin experiment would actually work, which has been misstated so many times, even scientists are confused about what really would happen. The narration was excellent with a wonderful light tone and a clear love of science that bubbled through. So, although there was a lot right and there is little wrong with this book, I did not quite find it worth the listen.
6 people found this helpful

Overall

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 S. Cannon
 032819
Spends too much time trying to be humorous
Unfortunately, the time that he should spend explaining physics is all too often spent in telling jokes that aren't funny.

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 Niktas T. Vlahopoulos
 040118
Rivetting<br />I found this book and perfor exceptional
singular and exceptional quality might be my favorite book so far in the audio library

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 Elizabeth Ramirez
 012118
Comprehensive and approachable
Besides the (really) bad physics nerd jokes, the book is very comprehensive, and proposes very interesting thought experiments.