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Netwin Waldro

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  • 19
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  • The Order of Time

  • By: Carlo Rovelli
  • Narrated by: Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Length: 4 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61

Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A stimulating and accessible time!

  • By Mark on 20-04-2019

Hard physics and flowery in equal measure

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-06-2018

Highly memorable, though sometimes very meandering. Rovelli is unlike any other writer of physics. An extremely confronting exploration of physical reality and the human condition. The first two sections contain all the important and cosmos-shattering assertions about the emergence of time from stranger underlying structures. The last few chapters were too poetic for my liking. Benedict obviously enjoyed narrating this book.

  • Dreams of a Final Theory

  • The Scientist's Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature
  • By: Steven Weinberg
  • Narrated by: Stuart Langton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

This is the story of a grand scientific quest: the quest for a unifying theory of nature. Writing with dazzling elegance and clarity, Nobel Prize - winning physicist Steven Weinberg retraces the steps that have led modern scientists from relativity theory and quantum mechanics to the notion of superstrings and the idea that our universe may coexist with others. Along the way, he voices the questions that are always present: Why does each explanation of the way nature works point to other, deeper explanations?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • one of the most intelligent books ever written

  • By Netwin Waldro on 25-05-2018

one of the most intelligent books ever written

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-05-2018

not that I've read all of them... a highly elegant summary of the way the best physicists think about the world.

  • Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time

  • By: Sean Carroll, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Sean Carroll
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 55

Time rules our lives, woven into the very fabric of the universe-from the rising and setting of the sun to the cycles of nature, the thought processes in our brains, and the biorhythms in our day. Nothing so pervades our existence and yet is so difficult to explain. But now, in a series of 24 riveting lectures, you can grasp exactly why - as you take a mind-expanding journey through the past, present, and future, guided by a noted author and scientist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good!!

  • By Anonymous User on 06-02-2019

Mindblowing

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-11-2016

Wait till the last lecture. If that doesn't blow your mind, nothing will. I'm glad to be fortunate enough to have lived this long to hear this series, no kidding.

  • The Beginning of Infinity

  • Explanations That Transform the World
  • By: David Deutsch
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 20 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Inspiring

  • By Dirk Bertels on 21-03-2017

Mind-blowing tour de force

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-11-2016

What made the experience of listening to The Beginning of Infinity the most enjoyable?

The sheer force of Deutsch's arguments.

What did you like best about this story?

The number of times the author produced a brilliant, original, and convincing explanation for some important physical / human phenomenon.

Which character – as performed by Walter Dixon – was your favourite?

David Deutsch

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. Although I skipped some chapters that weren't as important as others.

Any additional comments?

This book is breathtaking in its scope, originality and humanist spirit. It was fantastic to listen to so many ground-breaking ideas that I, already an scientifically-minded atheist, had never conceived before.

The underlying message — that there IS an objective reality and that modern society is fortunate enough to find itself at the "beginning of infinity" towards exploring it — is beautifully optimistic and highly convincing. There is no shortage of rebellious but rigorous thinking in this book and Deutsch explains most of his ideas deeply and openly. Each chapter has a "gotcha" moment (although some chapters have several and some only have one or two).

A perfectly understated narrator, as well. An essential read for all intelligent agents.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 18 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,710
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,535
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,527

A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I expected but brilliant!

  • By Michael on 27-11-2015

An entertaining overview of physical history

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-08-2016

Incessantly interesting and a near perfect balance of the anecdotal and technical. I expected slightly more humour, but this is more about information than narrative.