One of the our most celebrated thinkers and the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Carlo Rovelli has entranced millions of readers with his singular perspective on the cosmos. In Helgoland, he examines the enduring enigma of quantum theory.
In June 1925, twenty-three-year-old Werner Heisenberg, suffering from hay fever, retreated to a treeless, wind-battered island in the North Sea called Helgoland. It was there that he came up with the key insight behind quantum mechanics. A century later, this theory has given us modern technology and nuclear energy but remains disconcerting, enigmatic and fiercely debated.
Helgoland is the story of quantum physics and its bright young founders who were to become some of the most famous Nobel winners. It is a celebration of youthful rebellion and intellectual revolution. It is a transformative journey. Here Carlo Rovelli, a master storyteller and influential scientist, illuminates competing interpretations and offers his own original theory: the 'relational' interpretation of quantum mechanics, where the world is fundamentally made of relations and events rather than permanent substances. Where we, as every other thing around us, exist in our interactions with one another, in a never-ending game of mirrors.
A riveting voyage, full of wonder and delight, Helgoland revolutionizes our understanding of the universe and our place in it.
Carlo Rovelli is a genius and an amazing communicator. . . What I love about his writing is that it always comes back to people -- people interacting with other people, who are interacting with their world. This is the place where science comes to life
Physics has found its poet. . . Rovelli is a wonderfully humane, gentle and witty guide for he is as much philosopher and poet as he is a scientist
Rovelli opens windows onto the imagination for all of us
Carlo Rovelli's imaginative rigour, his lively humour and his beautiful writing are inspiring
With the publication of his million-selling book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Rovelli took his place with Stephen Hawking and Richard Feynman as one of the great popularisers of modern theoretical physics
A global superstar. . . Rovelli is making the grammar of the universe accessible to a new generation
The man who makes physics sexy. . . the new Hawking. . . His writing is luminous. By the time I had finished reading Seven Brief Lessons on Physics I was in serious awe of the author
In this essay from his forthcoming collection, There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness, titled ‘Lolita and the Blue Icarus’, Carlo Rovelli writes about Nabokov’s foray into lepidoptery – and his surprising recognition as “a scientist of real worth”.
Oscars season is upon us – did you know that some of the Best Actress and Best Actor nominees narrated Penguin audiobooks? Listen to some familiar faces read aloud from much-loved titles below.