The Biggest Ideas in the universe: space, time and motion, reviewed

We look at this attempt to bring complex sciences concepts into the wider realm. The Biggest Ideas in the universe is written by Sean Carroll, see more about the book on their website here.

The Biggest Ideas in the universe: space, time and motion reviewed

The goals of this book are clearly sign posted in the title, and the author tackles these topics with a clear plan and a sense of purpose. We enjoyed reading it, and could definitely imagine sharing this book with various potential younger readers, to help them grasp some of the issues tackled in this book. On several occasions we found complex ideas well explained, with interesting examples used to exemplify the points the author was trying to make.

There is great value in taking this approach as it brings more people into the conversation, and it raises awareness among experts in other fields, who may then be able to bring in insights and potentially even radical new breakthroughs based on their  own particular domain expertise. We are living in exciting times for learning more about space, physics and the universe, especially as the newer telescopes come into service and start sharing more data and information about wider and wider parts of the universe.

Sean Carroll’s book is therefore topical and also accessible, which helps to inform, educate and inspire future potential scientists too. Well worth reading, and, or sharing with the younger aspiring scientists in the family. A good Christmas stocking filler too perhaps!?

More about the book

Knowledge is power… A landmark new series from a prize-winning scientist and communicator

In this major trilogy, Sean Carroll opens up the world of physics and shows that you don’t necessarily need a science degree to gain a deeper insight into the workings of the universe.

Starting with the ideas that revolutionised our view of nature, Space, Time and Motion poses deep questions about the cosmos, guiding us through classical physics from Euclid and Galileo to Newton and Einstein. Carroll investigates how a twin could be seven years older than her brother, and demonstrates why it’s easier than you might think for a drifting astronaut to get back to the safety of the space station.

These are the laws of physics as you’ve never understood them before.

More about the author

Sean Carroll is Homewood Professor of natural philosophy at Johns Hopkins University. He won the Royal Society Winton Prize for his book on the search for the elusive Higgs boson, The Particle at the End of the Universe, and The Big Picture was an international bestseller. His most recent book is Something Deeply Hidden. He lives in Los Angeles. @seanmcarroll

Happy publication day to The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion! Happy to do my part to change the world by inspiring everyone to scribble physics equations on napkins and envelopes.

— Sean Carroll (@seanmcarroll) September 20, 2022

I’m interested in how the world works at the deepest levels, which leads me to do research in physics and philosophy. My current interests include foundational questions in quantum mechanics, spacetime, statistical mechanics, complexity, and cosmology, with occasional dabblings elsewhere. My new book is The Biggest Ideas in the Universe: Space, Time, and Motion, where I introduce modern physics with all the details, in a way accessible to anyone. I host a podcast, Mindscape, where I interview smart people about all sorts of interesting ideas.

My official title is Homewood Professor of Natural Philosophy at Johns Hopkins, and I am also Fractal Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. I live in Baltimore with my wife, writer Jennifer Ouellette, and two cats, Ariel and Caliban.

For some biographical background, I did an oral history interview for the American Institute of Physics. You can see the transcript or the audio version. I also wrote a personal narrative as part of applying for a Guggenheim fellowship.

I’ve written a few books, both popular-level and textbook-level. My most recent is Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime. I’ve also done a few lecture courses for The Great Courses, and there is various video and audio evidence online of me talking about one thing or another, including a series on The Biggest Ideas in the Universe. I’m relatively active on Twitter. My podcast, Mindscape, features me conversing with smart people about interesting ideas in science, philosophy, culture, and the arts.

In addition to theoretical physics and book-writing, there are a bunch of other things I’m interested in, somewhat haphazardly collected on my activities page. I give talks, organize conferences, write in a number of modes, and do science consulting for film and television.

In the picture on the upper left I’m joined by my lovely wife Jennifer Ouellette. That photo was taken in Downtown LA by my Mom; the one of me on the front page is by Rachael Porter. The clock image in the background is by Mararie on Flickr. Website design by Digital Executrix.

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