Gravity is the weakest force in the everyday world, yet it is the strongest force in the universe It was the first force to be recognised and described, yet it is the least understood It is a force that keeps your feet on the ground, yet no such force actually exists Gravity, to steal the words of Winston Churchill, is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma And penetrating that enigma promises to answer the biggest questions in science what is space What is time What is the universe And where did it all come from Award winning writer Marcus Chown takes us on an unforgettable journey from the recognition of the force of gravity into the discovery of gravitational waves inAnd as we stand on the brink of a seismic revolution in our worldview, he brings us up to speed on the greatest challenge ever to confront physics Read by Adjoa Andoh

8 thoughts on “The Ascent of Gravity: The Quest to Understand the Force That Explains Everything (Audio Download): Marcus Chown, Adjoa Andoh, Orion: Audible Audiobooks

  1. PaulDirac PaulDirac says:

    What could have been a tour de force of a highly interesting subject, turned out to be a long 90 pages intro of Newtonian mechanics, a mediocre 60 pages about Einstein s general relativity, which doesn t include any originality.For instance the analogy to a rubber trampoline and a bowling ball, so OK we see that the space will be warped, but why will anything material be bothered to follow a curved path when there is no gravity now In the absence of gravity you can place a mass anywhere near the ball and it will stay perfectly still The author doesn t bother to explain about minimal energy.When he get s to the interesting stuff relatively new research, he doesn t even bother to mention loop quantum gravity but concentrates on string theory which looks hopeless as the LHC is not finding any SUSY particles even at the new 13 TeV energy currently used.Annoyingly, the last chapter is filled with peoples quotations, mainly Nima Arkani Hamed, who is a first rate physicist and as expected string theory enthusiast, but perhaps Mr Chown should have other sources as well

  2. Peter Rea Peter Rea says:

    Having read other Chown books i was looking forward to this work on gravity I was disappointed to come across some careless errors For instance in page 63 the European Space Agency mission to Jupiter called JUICE is referred to as a NASA mission On page 73 dealing with the work of John Couch Adam and the discovery of Neptune the author states that the Astronomer Royal at the time was George Challis The Astronomer Royal was George Biddel Airy The Challis referred to is James Challis who was director of the Cambridge Observatory at the time On page 120 the author states that the Apollo 15 mission took place in 1972 It was launched in 1971 These are careless, easy to verify errors which should not have got past the editorial stage I expected better.

  3. Carpejugulum Carpejugulum says:

    I teach Biology and Chemistry in a sixth form college and am neither scientifically illiterate nor particularly thick This book lost me somewhere within Einstein s work, the problem being reality and imagination If you are a very skilled mathematician it is likely the mathematics of multiple dimensions are your reality and can be perceived as such Alas, no one can see these multiple dimensions and without the ability to perceive them in the realms of mathematics they make no sense whatsoever and cannot be visualised The analogies drawn do not come anywhere close to repairing that deficit and you are left clutching an explanation that boils down to it just is , ie far from understanding and consequently not even interesting I enjoyed most of the book but am now entirely convinced String theory for beginners will never be written.

  4. JE JE says:

    I kept thinking I didn t know that as I read this remarkable book For example, Newton didn t talk of apples falling off trees until 40 years after he d published his work on gravity How come an ancient Greek visiting England in 100 BC observed that as the tide came in, the level of water in local wells went down, and yet no one could explain it until 1940 AD And why is Jupiter s moon Io so warm It s all to do with gravity of course These gems and like them are so memorable.

  5. Eli Koenig Eli Koenig says:

    A great read for those of an inquiring mind First half is a feast of interesting facts on gravity and a multitude of related subjects which had me engrossed The latter half gets into a technical area that had me befuddled but I persevered till the end It s an extremely powerful read that had me highly impressed with the abilities of the scientists of the 17th and 18th centuries and has me looking at the world with fresh eyes.


    I really enjoyed this book It is very well written and the main text doesn t overdo the equations the author choosing instead to deploy clear English Will the non scientist enjoy this The final third of the book, getting into space time and string theory, will be a challenge even to those who studied Physics to A level, but don t let that put you off And if you ve secondary school aged children showing a strong interest in Physics then this will be a good book to give them at Christmas This book, only very lightly illustrated, works well on Kindle.

  7. PJW PJW says:

    Well written I read it slowly and go over the parts I find hard to comprehend again and again No heavy maths are involved No diagrams which at times I felt may assist in understanding a difficult subject Really makes you think about gravity.Gravity is only Space Time I am enjoying

  8. Mike R Mike R says:

    The book is an entertaining read for someone with a lay interest in the subject of gravity It brings difficult, almost mysterious, concepts to life, with helpful references and analogies It covers areas like newtonian physics, relativity and quantum mechanics which are also covered in other popular science books but the slant of how they relate to gravity rather than physics generally gives a different twist Towards the end, as it gets into some of the intricacies of current thinking and research, there are a few passages which are a bit difficult to follow, or where a leap is made with little explanation, although that may well be a reflection of the scale of current uncertainties about gravity rather than a deficiency with the book.