What does the world consist of? Are there time and space? What is the extended present? And what exactly is reality? With a style simple and accessible, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli approaches to answering these complex questions and as one of the protagonists of this scientific adventure convincingly leads us in search of the answers.

The book Reality is not what it seems explains how our impression of the world has changed from the antiquity up to recent discoveries: it takes us on a miraculous journey from Democritus to Einstein, from Michael Faraday to gravitational waves, and from classical physics to Rovelli’s work on quantum gravity. As a true lover of science and its methods, the author reflects on the universe before the Big Bang, the grainy structure of space, black holes, the modern understanding of relativity, the role of information, and the absence of time in the fundamental physics.

Understanding the deep structure of reality is the goal of exploring quantum gravity and is also the true challenge of modern science, where all our knowledge about what surrounds us is at stake. By showing us how the idea of ​​reality has evolved throughout history, Rovelli offers deeper explanations of the theories he has concisely introduced in his professional work to date, and above all, conveys his fascination with this research, passion that energizes him and the beauty of the new world perspective that it unwinds.

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Science is the constant exploration of ways of thinking. Its strength lies in its visionary ability to overthrow established ideas, discover new areas of reality, and create a new and more effective picture of the world. This adventure rests on all accumulated knowledge, but there is always a change in its essence. The world is limitless and radiant; and we wish to see it. We are overwhelmed by its secret and beauty, and beyond the horizon exists an unexplored area. The uncertainty of our knowledge and the uncertainty that stands on the brink of the abyss of our ignorance do not make life meaningless: they make it interesting and precious.


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Carlo Rovelli is Italian theoretical physicist and writer. He is engaged in the research of quantum gravity, and is one of the founders of the theory of quantum gravity loops, but his area of ​​interest also includes history and philosophy of science. In 2019, Foreign Policy magazine ranked him among the 100 most influential thinkers in the world. Reality is not what it seems is Rovelli's third book published by TIM press.


  • ISBN: 978-953-8075-92-6
  • Dimensions: 155x 215 mm
  • Number of pages: 216
  • Cover: paperback
  • Year of the edition: 2021
  • Original title: La realtà non è come ci appare. La struttura elementare delle cose
  • Original language: Italian
  • Translation: Jelena Butković