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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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“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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“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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“I simply love it... Carroll is aware that you need to understand the math to truly comprehend the physics that underpins our greatest brainchildren. He diligently explains the concept of infinitesimal changes, for example, so that readers understand why Isaac Newton had to (co)invent calculus to explain planetary orbits. Over the course of the book, readers go from learning how to take a derivative to gaining an appreciation of the metric tensor that describes spacetime.”

“Anyone who is interested in fundamental physics is encouraged to read this book, especially young people interested in studying physics because they will get an excellent idea of the type of physical arguments they will encounter at university. Those who think their mathematical background isn’t sufficient will likely learn many new things, even though the later chapters are quite technical. And if you are at the other end of the spectrum, such as a working physicist, you will find the philosophical discussions of familiar concepts and the illuminating arguments included to elicit physical intuition most useful.”

“No-nonsense, not-dumbed-down explanations of basic laws of the universe that reward close attention.”

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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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