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The Theory of Everything: The Quest to Explain All Reality

Narrated by: Don Lincoln
Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
Categories: Science & Math, Astronomy
4.5 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At the end of his career, Albert Einstein was pursuing a dream far more ambitious than the theory of relativity. He was trying to find an equation that explained all physical reality - a theory of everything. He failed, but others have taken up the challenge in a remarkable quest that is shedding light on unsuspected secrets of the cosmos.

Experimental physicist and award-winning educator Dr. Don Lincoln of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory takes you on this exciting journey in The Theory of Everything: The Quest to Explain All Reality. Suitable for the intellectually curious at all levels and assuming no background beyond basic high-school math, these 24 half-hour lectures cover recent developments at the forefront of particle physics and cosmology, while delving into the history of the centuries-long search for this holy grail of science.

You trace the dream of a theory of everything through Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Bohr, Schrödinger, Feynman, Gell-Mann, Weinberg, and other great physicists, charting their progress toward an all-embracing, unifying theory. Their resulting equations are the masterpieces of physics, which Dr. Lincoln explains in fascinating and accessible detail. Studying them is like touring a museum of great works of art - works that are progressing toward an ultimate, as-yet-unfinished masterpiece.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2017 The Great Courses (P)2017 The Teaching Company, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Qme
  • 2019-10-19

Not for the average reader

Not much of a story telling as one would imagine due to the topic. Hard to follow at times as reader was referring to an image from the book.

Some prior knowledge may be helpful or this can all go over ones head.

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digesting physics has never been easier

I've somewhat struggled to visualize/conceptualize Physics, and its overall goals and concepts but this lectures helped me take it, and at the very least have me a general idea on how everything goes...

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  • WTL
  • 2019-09-17

Needs to be re-recorded

This audiobook sounds like it's the audio lifted from a video - there are many references to "as you can see here" or "this chart shows" which is extremely impractical to try to find the PDF, open it, and find the relevant chart/graph/image.

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Excellent course!

Extremely informative, and relevant. I look forward to going through this lecture series again in the future and understanding more of what the course has to offer.

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Great Overview

This is a fantastic lecture that provides a high level overview of fundamental concepts in physics and presents various scenarios for uniting these concepts into a theory of everything. Going from theoretical superstrings to a potentially infinite universe, this course pragmatically explains the challenges ahead, and takes care to differentiate between what we know, what we think, and what might be.

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Worth it

Dr Lincoln is always great to listen to. I've seen all his FermiLab videos on YouTube and I still enjoyed this book because it helped my understand some of those concepts on a more fundamental level.

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This is an excellent book for anyone interested in physics

The author is great at explaining complex ideas in ways that are easy to understand even without visual references from the PDF. He also has some great and highly insightful YouTube videos on the fermilab channel that are absolutely recommended if you enjoy his teaching

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  • MikeB
  • 2018-12-08

Audible’s Best Science Offering, A Gem

I had the opportunity to watch the Great Course Plus videos of these lectures. Those were and are incredible. When Audible offered the series I immediately bought it. I was concerned that some of clarity of what Doctor Lincoln is lecturing about would be lost in a purely audio presentation...and, to a certain extent that is true. The 247 page PDF, however, has everything you need. Print it out. And you will gain a lot just from listening to the audio. I liked the original series so well, I thought this would be a great refresher. I was wrong. I am picking up things I missed in the videos. The PDF is a gem and well worth reading and keeping on your tablet or phone for reference.

Doctor Lincoln is easy to listen to, but he packs a lot of information into his seemingly informal lectures. You will learn more about matter and subatomic particles in just the first lecture than you will gain from reading any book on the subject. This series is so good that I cannot fathom why Doctor Lincoln has not done more science lectures. His sense of humor, cadence and clarity of speech, organization, and thorough mastery of the subjects makes this seemingly difficult subject fun. It is, by far, my favorite science series.

183 of 189 people found this review helpful

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  • Spherical Chickens
  • 2019-01-23

Better suited for video rather than audiobook

I love the Great Courses books, I've purchased 10+ of them, but this is a course best suited for a video presentation, not an audio one. If you're good creating mental images of complex scenarios, by all means get this. Just be ready for a bit of mental gymnastics.

100 of 106 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-03-20

Fantastic program

This was the best program on the theory of everything I have ever listened to. Well informed and relatively easy to follow. Paints a very sharp picture of our current understanding of the universe.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Guerich
  • Boca Raton, FL USA
  • 2019-01-13

Don Lincoln is the real science guy

There are many so called science experts on TV who get a lot of publicity. Don Lincoln is a real scientist who spends most of his time doing real science. But he also has a gift for explaining difficult concepts in an entertaining way.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • pondo
  • Gilbert Arizona
  • 2019-01-09

Exactly what I was hoping for, and more

Don gets deeper into the quantum physics more than anything I've come across to date which I was hoping for. Usually I listen too a physics book and the author will give me a magazine article type overview of the weak nuclear force. Not Mr Lincoln, we are his students and he is going to teach us the real deal of the weak nuclear force(and every other force/particle/spin/color/QED/QCD/anti etc) with great analogies to keep us on track. Also he will surprise me with some damn silly wit that pops up at unusual times, and actually gets me to laugh. Another nice thing about this book is it's up-to-date, I don't know how many books I've listened to where the phrase pops up "The higgs boson which is soon to be found at the LHC" ugh! (Don was working at both the LHC AND FermiLab during the Higgs hunt and his 1st person insight is brilliant). So to sum up If you haven't already deduced, I would think this book a bargian at 2 credits!
P.S. I didn't give it 5 stars because I don't "love" it, after all it is a physics book (Sorry Don)

55 of 61 people found this review helpful

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  • Gonzalo Alberto Gomez A
  • Bogota, Cundinamarca Colombia
  • 2019-02-03

Great book for everyone!

I love not just the scientific facts but Tha analogies, the jokes and the puns with intention.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • J.C.
  • Sunnyvale, CA, USA
  • 2019-06-14

Not an audiobook...

As many other reviewers mention this is not designed to be just listened to. It is the soundtrack to a video with many complex concepts, equations and theories. It's often super obtuse and impossible to follow without the video.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-05-26

Best book of 10+

I have listened to more than 10 books on similar topics and this is the best. Technical enough but undersandable. Highly recomend it!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • ali
  • 2019-01-25

worth it

it's packed with information, definitely worth the time if you want to learn more about this subject.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles Stasnek
  • 2019-02-04

educational

a little over my head but still. informational.. if you enjoy quantum physics it's for you

4 of 4 people found this review helpful