Tuesday, August 31, 2021
The order of time (L'ordine del tempo), Seven brief lessons on physics (Sette brevi lezioni di fisica) - Carlo Rovelli
I’ve already introduced Carlo Rovelli when I talked about my theme-based parallel reading experiments (Rovelli's Helgoland along with The Tao of physics and The way of Zen).
“The order of time” is a sort of return trip to "Time city": we could call it “time traveling”, even though it’s not exactly what we mean by that expression. The first leg of the journey is away from the idea - or “intuition” - that we have of time. Here we learn for example why time is not absolute (time is neither the same here and there nor for you and for me) or why it is not necessarily proceeding in one straight direction (from past to future). Then we stop a moment and we consider what we know about time and what we don’t know but can assume about it. Finally we travel back to where we started and we try to understand why, if time is not what we perceive, we do sense it like that.
“Seven brief lessons on physics” is unsurprisingly organized in seven parts, each one dealing with a different aspect of modern physics: Einstein’s general relativity, quantum mechanics, the architecture of the cosmos, elementary particles, gravity, black holes (plus probability and time) and our role in the universe.
As I already mentioned we live in an ever more strongly science-driven world and we can’t understand much of it unless we are familiar with the basics of physics, biology, evolution and genetics. Rovelli’s books constitute some the best tools available to start this journey.