Reality Is Not What We Can See

Some physicists, mind you, not many of them, are physicist-poets.

They see the world or, more adequately, physical reality, as a lyrical narrative written in some hidden code that the human mind can decipher.

Carlo Rovelli, the Italian physicist and author, is one of them. Following his best-seller Seven Brief Lessons in Physics, a book that the author himself was surprised to see becoming so popular, Rovelli has a more ambitious book out (written before Seven Lessons). In Reality Is Not What It Seems, he describes his view of reality — the poem he has spent a career attempting to decipher.

His writing style is enchanting, as lyrical as a book on physics allows one to be. His references to other poets, in particular Dante and Petrarch, exude patriotic pride and the understanding, unfortunately rare in most physics departments, of the deep connection between the sciences and the humanities as twin partners in the human struggle to find meaning in a puzzling and mysterious universe.

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