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  • Published: 9 August 2016
  • ISBN: 9780141981727
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $22.99

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

The enchanting international bestselling sensation on modern physics comes to paperback

In this mind-bending introduction to modern physics, Carlo Rovelli explains Einstein's theory of general relativity, quantum mechanics, black holes, the complex architecture of the universe, elementary particles, gravity, and the nature of the mind. Not since Richard Feynman's celebrated best-seller Six Easy Pieces has physics been so vividly, intelligently and delightfully revealed.

  • Published: 9 August 2016
  • ISBN: 9780141981727
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Carlo Rovelli

Carlo Rovelli is a theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions to the physics of space and time. He has worked in Italy and the US, and is currently directing the quantum gravity research group of the Centre de physique théorique in Marseille, France. His books Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Helgoland, Reality Is Not What It Seems and The Order of Time are international bestsellers which have been translated into forty-three languages.

Also by Carlo Rovelli

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Praise for Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

The physicist transforming how we see the universe

Financial Times

A sensation... The new cult book

Katie Law, Evening Standard

Absolutely fascinating... explains the entire universe in 79 pages

Steve Wright, BBC Radio 2

Wonderfully clear and vivid. Carlo Rovelli manages to convey the mystery of very large things and very small things with brilliant effect

Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials

A sublime read... The triumph of this book is that it educates you, guides you, and brings you bang up to date with the central issues in theoretical physics today... Intriguing, captivating and magical

Ivor Mason, I Newspaper

If you want to understand what gets physicists out of bed in the morning, there is no better guide than Rovelli... Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is an absorbing, lovely book... This is physics as romantic poetry and, by God, it's beguiling

Michael Brooks, New Statesman

A startling and illustrative distillation of centuries of science... The book's triumph lies not only in presenting some of the headiest stuff science has produced in so few pages, but also in giving real insight into how science treats those ideas


There have been plenty of attempts in recent years to explain the basic concepts of physics to us, but few as elegant and concise as Carlo Rovelli's... there's enough food for thought here to last a lifetime

Nick Rennison, Daily Mail

Sparse, elegant and most of all readable... at the end of it you feel more clever. Rovelli has achieved something unheard of in books about theoretical physics: most of the people who have started his book have also probably finished it

Tom Whipple, The Times

A surprise bestseller... the most interesting of the year's science books

Daily Telegraph

It is amazing that such a short book can dig to such satisfying depths

Stephen Curry, Guardian

The slim volume is stereotypically the province of poetry, but this beautifully designed little book shows that science, with its curiosity, its intense engagement with what there really is, its readiness to jettison received ways of seeing, is a kind of poetry too

Financial Times

Rovelli has a rare knack for conveying the top line of scientific theories in clear and compelling terms without succumbing to the lure of elaborate footnotes... a breath of fresh air

Nicola Davis, Observer

A slim poetic meditation... Rovelli belongs to a great Italian tradition of one-culture science writing that encompasses the Roman poet Lucretius, Galileo, Primo Levi and Italo Calvino. The physics here is comprehensible and limpid, and Rovelli gives it an edge through his clear-eyed humanistic interpretations

Best science books, Independent

The book to read if you know very little about modern physics but want to begin to grasp its wonder, and the potential it has to enrich our understanding of the universe and our place in it

Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

The essays in Seven Brief Lessons on Physics arrive like shots of espresso, which you can consume the way the Italians do, quickly and while standing up

Dwight Garner, New York Times

If you only ever read one book on physics, read this. Beautifully written and engaging

Rowan Coleman, author of We Are All Made of Stars

The rare book about physics that can be ingested in a single sitting

Alexandra Alter, New York Times

Utterly blown away by the concise beauty of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli. Science as poetry. Awe inspiring

Michael Bhaskar, author of The Content Machine

No one should hold office unless they have read Carlo Rovelli's Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Nick Harkaway, author of The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker

Brilliant... Rovelli writes with clarity and verve, vividly bringing to life concepts that can often appear incomprehensible, and inviting readers to see the world anew. Few writers, let alone physicists, capture the beauty of nature and the excitement of its discovery in such clear, rich prose... It's hard to imagine a more coherent, inspiring introduction to modern physics. It really is an enchanting little volume

New Scientist

Carlo Rovelli has never been afraid to challenge the status quo

Morgan Freeman, Science Channel

There's a book I've been carrying around like a small Bible, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Benedict Cumberbatch

A global superstar... Professor Rovelli is making the grammar of the universe accessible to a new generation

Channel 4 News

Surely Rovelli deserves the title 'world's most inspiring physics teacher'

Daily Telegraph

The perfect antidote to the fluff and nonsense around right now. Learn how the world is and how you might just fit in

Simon Mayo, Daily Mirror

The man who makes physics sexy... The new Hawking... His writing is luminous. By the time I had finished reading I was in serious awe of the author

David Aaronovitch, The Times

The most fun physicist to be with -- as well as the greatest explainer of physics

Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

If you've ever wanted to understand physics better, read Carlo Rovelli's masterful book, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. One of the world's leading scientists, he explains concepts like relativity, quantum mechanics and black holes with an elegance and clarity that reminded me of Richard Feynman... You will probably find yourself coming back to it again and again

Fareed Zakaria

Honestly I cannot recommend it too strongly... One of the fastest selling science titles of all time because it is so clear

Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2

With the publication of his million-selling Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Carlo Rovelli took his place with Stephen Hawking and Richard Feynman as one of the great popularisers of modern theoretical physics

Sam Leith, Spectator

An amuse bouche for some of the ideas that are wrapped up in 20th-century astrophysics where it borders on philosophy. Millions have digested this little treat

Adam Rutherford, Guardian

Totally gripping. . . full of thought-provoking ideas. . . very beautiful

Harriet Gilbert, A Good Read Radio 4

A love letter to physics. You can't believe everyone isn't reading this, and you want to tell everyone about it... thrilling

Felicity Ward

I loved this book. The final chapter is filled with breathless amazement and humble awe... it's almost trippy

Harriet Gilbert