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Something Deeply Hidden

Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime
Narrated by: Sean Carroll
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Physics
5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Instant New York Times best seller

A Science News Favorite Science Book of 2019

As you listen to these words, copies of you are being created. Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist and one of this world’s most celebrated writers on science, rewrites the history of 20th-century physics. Already hailed as a masterpiece, Something Deeply Hidden shows for the first time that facing up to the essential puzzle of quantum mechanics utterly transforms how we think about space and time. His reconciling of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity changes, well, everything. Most physicists haven’t even recognized the uncomfortable truth: Physics has been in crisis since 1927.

Quantum mechanics has always had obvious gaps - which have come to be simply ignored. Science popularizers keep telling us how weird it is, how impossible it is to understand. Academics discourage students from working on the "dead end" of quantum foundations. Putting his professional reputation on the line with this audacious yet entirely reasonable audiobook, Carroll says that the crisis can now come to an end. We just have to accept that there is more than one of us in the universe. There are many, many Sean Carrolls. Many of every one of us.

Copies of you are generated thousands of times per second. The Many Worlds Theory of quantum behavior says that every time there is a quantum event, a world splits off with everything in it the same, except in that other world, the quantum event didn't happen. Step-by-step in Carroll's uniquely lucid way, he tackles the major objections to this otherworldly revelation until his case is inescapably established.

Rarely does a book so fully reorganize how we think about our place in the universe. We are on the threshold of a new understanding - of where we are in the cosmos, and what we are made of.

©2019 Sean Carroll (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"What makes Carroll's new project so worthwhile, though, is that while he is most certainly choosing sides in the debate, he offers us a cogent, clear and compelling guide to the subject while letting his passion for the scientific questions shine through every page." (NPR)

"Enlightening and refreshingly bold." (Scientific American)

"Something Deeply Hidden is Carroll’s ambitious and engaging foray into what quantum mechanics really means and what it tells us about physical reality." (Science Magazine)

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This book is bloody brilliant

Sean has a way of explaining complicated concepts in a very visual way. I found myself finally starting to understand and visualise some  fundamental concepts in quantum physics. I learnt about entropy, entanglement, what a Hamiltonian is, particles, waves, the Everettian interpretations of quantum mechanics; basically things that blew my mind. I didn't really do any maths or science at school (clearly the concept of science wasn't explained to me very well at school, I thought it had something with to do with a bunson burner) so finding out so many amazing things about our universe has been awesome. Of course I had to listen to every chapter three times. And by three I mean seven. The point is some of this started to sink into my brain. So buy this book. Sean's podcasts are also great. 

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Very heavy going for the layperson

I love reading about physics in layman's terms (such as the works of Brian Greene, Kip Thorne and Leonard Susskind) and I love Sean's mindscape podcast. This text was a little too heavy on the assertive statements and very light on the analogy, which I felt made it harder to comprehend for the layperson that it could have been. nevertheless it's a fascinating topic and this book still have me a glimpse of some very deep and awe inspiring ideas.

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I was the right audience for this book

and was well rewarded

Over the years, I had read several popular science books on similar subjects, and in recent years watched PBS Space Time and listened to Sean Carroll's Mindscape. I had been left with questions and despaired for answers. This book anticipated these, and corrected some errors for which I had not even formed questions. Its probably the case that to do better requires actually studying the math.

This book did an exceptional job in clearly explaining the route through the consensus and onto the quantum interpretation that it championed. As history of science, I found it very satisfying. I would have loved the book to have engaged directly with the philosophy of mathematics or of science. Without expertise in either, I nevertheless feel confident they would offer cogent critiques of the interpretation. In particular, I cannot help but be unsettled by the sense in which it seems to settle the interpretation of probability as being a real property of the universe.  

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truly hidden

really comes together in the final chapters. a difficult book worthy of everyone, excellent work from sean once again. ❤

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Wild.

The concepts in this book are wild. I can't say I understood all the equations but I think I got my head around most concepts. I'm not a cosmologist, but this book feels super important.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-10-2019

Super position of all relevant texts.

Great work! Sean Carroll recording it himself was important to me. Would have lost interest quickly if it was in the voice of some random speaker who could'nt care less about quantum waves and field theory. Thank you!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-12-2019

Easy to understand. Great narrating.

So much information packed into each chapter. Carroll explains concepts well. Flows like a story with bolstering physics theories and formulae. will listen again.

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  • Qaestor
  • 25-12-2019

Brilliant but not for beginners

If you have already read quite a lot about Quantum Mechanics in Pop Science and enjoy Sean Carroll in particular (and the 'many worlds interpretation') you will benefit from this book. I enjoyed it but some sections about how various calculations are made, were frankly rather too specialist for me. No matter. I will listen to them several times over. It gives me the feeling that despite being a complete non-scientist and non-specialists, I have crawled up the learning curve a little.

1 person found this helpful