The New York Times bestselling author of The Physics of Wall Street “deftly explains all you wanted to know about nothingness—a.k.a. the quantum vacuum” (Priyamvada Natarajan, author of Mapping the Heavens).
James Owen Weatherall’s bestselling book, The Physics of Wall Street, was named one of Physics Today’s five most intriguing books of 2013. In this work, he takes on a fundamental concept of modern physics: nothing. The physics of stuff—protons, neutrons, electrons, and even quarks and gluons—is at least somewhat familiar to most of us. But what about the physics of nothing? Isaac Newton thought of empty space as nothingness extended in all directions, a kind of theater in which physics could unfold. But both quantum theory and relativity tell us that Newton’s picture can’t be right. Nothing, it turns out, is an awful lot like something, with a structure and properties every bit as complex and mysterious as matter. In his signature lively prose, Weatherall explores the very nature of empty space—and solidifies his reputation as a science writer to watch.
Included on the 2017 Best Book List by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
“An engaging and interesting account.”—The Economist
“Readers get a dose of biography while following such figures as Einstein, Dirac, and Newton to see how top theories about the void have been discovered, developed, and debunked. Weatherall’s clear language and skillful organization adroitly combines history and physics to show readers just how much ‘nothing really matters.’”—Publishers Weekly