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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.

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