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Publisher's Summary

The marvelous complexity of the universe emerges from several deep laws and a handful of fundamental constants that fix its shape, scale, and destiny. There is a deep structure to the world which at the same time is simple, elegant, and beautiful. Where did these laws and these constants come from? And why are the laws so fruitful when written in the language of mathematics?

Peter Atkins considers the minimum effort needed to equip the universe with its laws and its constants. He explores the origin of the conservation of energy, of electromagnetism, of classical and quantum mechanics, and of thermodynamics, showing how all these laws spring from deep symmetries. The revolutionary result is a short but immensely rich weaving together of the fundamental ideas of physics. 

With his characteristic wit, erudition, and economy, Atkins sketches out how the laws of nature can spring from very little. Or arguably from nothing at all.

©2018 Peter Atkins (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Conjuring the Universe

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  • wbiro
  • 19-07-2021

Sleep-Inducing Narration

Reminds me that, when writing, to never end a sentence in a vowel, or this narrator will abuse it with a long unnatural trailing off (into sleep land) with some kind of 1940's affectation.

The book is otherwise well written, but posits some questionable speculations and claims, which adds to the book's burden on the listener. You will need frequent breaks from the peculiar droning.

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  • Dr. Pops
  • 02-11-2019

Stick to the King James Version

A real smart ass, Bullsh!t artist. Very misleading for young scientists. High grade science fiction. For the timebeing stick to God.

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  • Alex R.
  • 12-06-2020

Interesting but badly written and narrated

I like the author, Peter Atkins. I think he is a very smart and intelligent man. However, this book is unfortunately badly written (and also gets a bit boring at times).

Unlike the book by Stephen Hawking which was much easier to understand (and fun to listen to) this book can be extremely difficult to comprehend at times - and I'm speaking as someone who regularly reads books on physics and cosmology.

This book would be very difficult for the layman to understand. Mostly because it lacks the simplicity and humour of Hawking's book. Atkins should really have tried to simplify the concepts. Instead some of the chapters go on for too long with little explanation of difficult concepts.

The worst part of the audiobook was the narration. Unfortunately the narrator's voice is very distracting and off-putting. It's the cadence of the narrator's voice that is very annoying at times. You have to listen to it to understand what I mean. Why can he not speak just normally?

I still think this book is worth reading because there are some nuggets of information here that are very interesting and useful to know.

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