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The most trusted explainer of the most mind-boggling concepts pulls back the veil of mystery that has too long cloaked the most valuable building blocks of modern science. Sean Carroll, with his genius for making complex notions entertaining, presents in his uniquely lucid voice the fundamental ideas informing the modern physics of reality.

Physics offers deep insights into the workings of the universe but those insights come in the form of equations that often look like gobbledygook. Sean Carroll shows that they are really like meaningful poems that can help us fly over sierras to discover a miraculous multidimensional landscape alive with radiant giants, warped space-time, and bewilderingly powerful forces. High school calculus is itself a centuries-old marvel as worthy of our gaze as the Mona Lisa. And it may come as a surprise the extent to which all our most cutting-edge ideas about black holes are built on the math calculus enables.

No one else could so smoothly guide readers toward grasping the very equation Einstein used to describe his theory of general relativity. In the tradition of the legendary Richard Feynman lectures presented sixty years ago, this book is an inspiring, dazzling introduction to a way of seeing that will resonate across cultural and generational boundaries for many years to come.

“What is most appealing in this ambitious book is its combination of technical accuracy and lightness of tone…reader-friendly…the scientific and mathematical aspects of the book are impeccable.”

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“Carroll takes readers on a remarkable journey through some of the most important ideas in the field and lays out how those ideas become manifest in mathematical form. It’s a bold move, and through it Carroll is able to take his readers on a much deeper exploration of foundational notions like force, motion, and momentum than other books manage.... If you are interested in physics, you should read this book. It can open a window through which your view of the Universe will be richer, subtler, and way more awesome.”

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“If you are trying to find a short treatment of the key ideas of physics that is genuinely accessible to pretty much anyone with a high school math background... Sean’s two big strengths are an easy, informal manner of exposition and a gift for focusing on the physics and not letting the reader get lost in the weeds.

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“Reading

“Sean Carroll shows… that the essence of physics, including its fundamental equations, can be made accessible to anyone equipped with no more than high school math. Carroll is an accomplished science writer, a talent with few peers…

“Neat, and extremely simple: only a deep thinker such as Sean Carroll could introduce the complexity of Einstein’s general relativity in such a luminous and straightforward manner.”

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“Sean Carroll's greatest gift isn't that he's an expert on the fundamentals of physics, which he is, but that he never speaks down to his reader. He assumes that anyone, even the uninitiated, can learn to understand the formulae that underlie complicated concepts like space and time. It is a pleasure to read his work, a greater pleasure still to get a world-class education from such a witty, thoughtful teacher.”

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“One-of-a-kind…Carroll flips the script and illuminates the form and beauty underlying a discipline that helps us understand all that exists.”

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