Tag Archives: Sean Carroll

Books: ‘The Biggest Ideas in the Universe – Space, Time, And Motion’ (2022)

The Biggest Ideas in the Universe

Vol. 1: SPACE, TIME, AND MOTION

The Biggest Ideas in the Universe

Vol. 1: SPACE, TIME, AND MOTION

Book cover for Sean Carroll's "The Biggest Ideas in the Universe"

Dutton Books, 20 September 2022

The goal of The Biggest Ideas in the Universe is to bridge the gap between popular-science treatments of modern physics and true expert knowledge. This is the real stuff — equations and all — presented in a way that presumes no prior knowledge other than high-school algebra. Readers will come up to speed about exactly what professional physicists are talking about, with an emphasis on established knowledge rather than speculation.

Volume One, Space, Time, and Motion, covers the domain of classical physics, from Newton to Einstein. We get introduced to Spherical Cow Philosophy, in which complications are stripped away to reveal the essence of a system, and the Laplacian Paradigm, in which the laws of physics take us from initial conditions into the future by marching through time. We learn the basic ideas of calculus, where we can calculate rates of change and how much of a quantity has accumulated. We think about the nature of space and time, separately and together. Finally we are introduced to the mysteries of non-Riemannian geometry and Einstein’s theory of curved spacetime, culminating into a dive into black holes.

Read more

New Interviews: Scholar Steven Greenblatt On Stories, History & Culture (Mindscape Podcast)

Stephen Greenblatt Harvard ScholarAn infinite number of things happen; we bring structure and meaning to the world by making art and telling stories about it. Every work of literature created by human beings comes out of an historical and cultural context, and drawing connections between art and its context can be illuminating for both. Today’s guest, Stephen Greenblatt, is one of the world’s most celebrated literary scholars, famous for helping to establish the New Historicism school of criticism, which he also refers to as “cultural poetics.” We talk about how art becomes entangled with the politics of its day, and how we can learn about ourselves and other cultures by engaging with stories and their milieu.

Website: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2019/11/25/74-stephen-greenblatt-on-stories-history-and-cultural-poetics/