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The Beauty of Falling

By: Claudia de Rham
Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook narrated by Juliet Stevenson shares the story of a world-renowned physicist who seeks gravity’s true nature and finds wisdom in embracing its force in her life

Claudia de Rham has been playing with gravity her entire life. As a diver, experimenting with her body’s buoyancy in the Indian Ocean. As a pilot, soaring over Canadian waterfalls on dark mornings before beginning her daily scientific research. As an astronaut candidate, dreaming of the experience of flying free from Earth’s pull. And as a physicist, discovering new sides to gravity’s irresistible personality by exploring the limits of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. In The Beauty of Falling, de Rham shares captivating stories about her quest to gain intimacy with gravity, to understand both its feeling and fundamental nature. Her life’s pursuit led her from a twist of fate that snatched away her dream of becoming an astronaut to an exhilarating breakthrough at the very frontiers of gravitational physics.

While many of us presume to know gravity quite well, the brightest scientists in history have yet to fully answer the simple question: what exactly is gravity? de Rham reveals how great minds—from Newton and Einstein to Stephen Hawking, Andrea Ghez, and Roger Penrose—led her to the edge of knowledge about this fundamental force. She found hints of a hidden side to gravity at the particle level where Einstein’s theory breaks down, leading her to develop a new theory of “massive gravity.” de Rham shares how her life’s path turned from a precipitous fall to an exquisite flight toward the discovery of something entirely new about our surprising, gravity-driven universe.

©2024 Claudia de Rham (P)2024 Princeton University Press

Critic Reviews

“A wonderfully clear, right up-to-date account of gravity and what we have learned about it and from it.”—Jocelyn Bell Burnell, visiting professor, University of Oxford

“In this engaging firsthand account, de Rham brings the story of gravity to life, sharing her deep insights into its fundamental nature. From her highly expert vantage point, she elegantly intersperses the fascinating science with her own life story and her quest to make sense of gravity’s mysteries.”—Jo Dunkley, author of Our Universe

The Beauty of Falling takes us on an insightful exploration of gravity, from historical beginnings to the cutting-edge present. Guided by the perspective of a modern theorist, the book is a valuable read for the curious minds seeking a unique look into the heart of gravity’s mysteries.”—Sara Seager, author of The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir

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