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The Consolations of Physics: Why the Wonders of the Universe Can Make You Happy

Tim Radford

8 Reviews

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Popular science

A wise and inspiring manifesto about why understanding physics can make you happier, by one of the leading science writers of our time.

'A beautiful, inspiring reflection on science, humanity, space, and matter - this would blow Boethius's mind.' SARAH BAKEWELL


The Consolations of Physics is an eloquent manifesto for physics. In an age where uncertainty and division is rife, Tim Radford, science editor of the Guardian for twenty-five years, turns to the wonders of the universe for consolation.

From the launch of the Voyager spacecraft and how it furthered our understanding of planets, stars and galaxies to the planet composed entirely of diamond and graphite and the sound of a blacksmith's anvil; from the hole NASA drilled in the heavens to the discovery of the Higgs Boson and the endeavours to prove the Big Bang, The Consolations of Physics will guide you from a tiny particle to the marvels of outer space.

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Praise for The Consolations of Physics: Why the Wonders of the Universe Can Make You Happy

  • Tim Radford's The Consolations of Physics is a love letter to the Voyager space probes. The poetry of their journey stimulated Radford to wax lyrical about the purpose of science. It is a beautiful, moving book that roams through the grand physics of recent decades. - New Statesman, Books of the Year

  • Wow. Tim Radford's writing is so beautiful. It reads like poetry. It's a book more about life and passion than physics. People who have never cared a jot about physics (like me) must read this book.

  • A beautiful, inspiring reflection on science, humanity, space, and matter - this would blow Boethius's mind.

  • Beautiful, joyful, inspiring. A celebration of physicists' quest to understand the universe, from one of the best science writers around.

  • It's rare that you get a book that connects Dante's Divine Comedy to the Higgs boson and the geology of limestone cliffs, and this weaving together two thousand's years of intellectual thought is one of the many delights of this book. It's a hymn to scientific endeavour.

  • An appreciative survey of the vast canvas on which physicists do their creative work - the entire observable universe, from the beginning of time to its end (assuming there is one)... Beneath his jocularity, Radford is an unapologetic intellectual. - Guardian

  • Beautifully crafted "love letter to physics"... His deft narrative interweaves discoveries such as the Higgs boson, the Hubble Deep Field and gravitational waves with Dante Alighieri's epic fourteenth-century poem The Divine Comedy, which intuited the laws of motion found by Galileo Galilei some 300 years later. - Nature

  • Engaging and delightful... In Radford's persuasive and genial company, as he roams from the initial singularity to dark energy, from Saint Augustine's City of God to Dante's The Divine Comedy, from the Higgs bosun to the multiverse, it's hard not to be moved by the fact that there are those who are capable of dreaming up and executing complex undertakings that explore the order that underpins creation. - Observer

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