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Carlo Rovelli

Italian Theoretical Physicist and Writer

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Carlo Rovelli Biography

Carlo Rovelli (born 3 May 1956) is an Italian theoretical physicist and writer who has worked in Italy and the USA, and currently works in France. His work is mainly in the field of quantum gravity, where he is among the founders of the loop quantum gravity theory. He has also worked in the history and philosophy of science. He collaborates regularly with several Italian newspapers, in particular the cultural supplements of Il Sole 24 Ore and La Repubblica.

Carlo Rovelli was born in Verona, Italy, in 1956. In the 1970s, he participated in the student political movements in Italian universities. He was involved with the free political radio stations Radio Alice in Bologna and Radio Anguana in Verona, which he helped found. In conjunction with his political activity, he was charged, but later released, for crimes of opinion related to the book Fatti Nostri, which he co-authored with Enrico Palandri, Maurizio Torrealta, and Claudio Piersanti.

In 1981, Rovelli graduated with a BS/MS in Physics from the University of Bologna, and in 1986 he obtained his PhD at the University of Padova, Italy. Rovelli refused military service, which was compulsory in Italy at the time, and was therefore briefly detained in 1987. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Rome, Trieste, and at Yale University. Rovelli was on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh from 1990 to 2000. He is currently at the Aix-Marseille University, in the Centre de Physique Théorique, in Marseille, France. He has also long held the post of Affiliated Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the University of Pittsburgh. He is the first president of the Samy Maroun Center founded in 2014.

In 1988, Carlo Rovelli, Lee Smolin, and Abhay Ashtekar introduced a theory of quantum gravity called loop quantum gravity. In 1995, Rovelli and Smolin obtained a basis of states of quantum gravity, labelled by Penrose's spin networks, and using this basis they were able to show that the theory predicts that area and volume are quantized. This result indicates the existence of a discrete structure of space at very small scale. In 1997, Rovelli and Michael Reisenberger introduced a "sum over surfaces" formulation of theory, which has since evolved into the currently covariant "spinfoam" version of loop quantum gravity. In 2008, in collaboration with Jonathan Engle and Roberto Pereira, he has introduced the spin foam vertex amplitude which is the basis of the current definition of the loop quantum gravity covariant dynamics. The loop theory is today considered a candidate for a quantum theory of gravity. It finds applications in quantum cosmology, spinfoam cosmology, and quantum black hole physics.

In his 2004 book Quantum Gravity, Rovelli developed a formulation of classical and quantum mechanics that does not make explicit reference to the notion of time. The timeless formalism is needed to describe the world in the regimes where the quantum properties of the gravitational field cannot be disregarded. This is because the quantum fluctuation of spacetime itself make the notion of time unsuitable for writing physical laws in the conventional form of evolution laws in time. This position has led him to face the following problem: if time is not part of the fundamental theory of the world, then how does time emerge? In 1993, in collaboration with Alain Connes, Rovelli has proposed a solution to this problem called the thermal time hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, time emerges only in a thermodynamic or statistical context. If this is correct, the flow of time is an illusion, one deriving from the incompleteness of knowledge.

In 1994, Rovelli introduced the relational interpretation of quantum mechanics, based on the idea that the quantum state of a system must always be interpreted relative to another physical system (like the "velocity of an object" is always relative to another object, in classical mechanics). The idea has been developed and analyzed in particular by Bas van Fraassen and by Michel Bitbol. Among other important consequences, it provides a solution of the EPR paradox that does not violate locality. Rovelli has written a book on the Greek philosopher Anaximander, published in France, Italy, US and Brazil. The book analyses the main aspects of scientific thinking and articulates Rovelli's views on science. Anaximander is presented in the book as a main initiator of scientific thinking.

For Rovelli, science is a continuous process of exploring novel possible views of the world; this happens via a "learned rebellion," which always builds and relies on previous knowledge but at the same time continuously questions aspects of this received knowledge. The foundation of science, therefore, is not certainty but the very opposite, a radical uncertainty about our own knowledge, or equivalently, an acute awareness of the extent of our ignorance.

Rovelli discusses his religious views in several articles and in his book on Anaximander. He argues that the conflict between rational/scientific thinking and structured religion may find periods of truce ("there is no contradiction between solving Maxwell's equations and believing that God created Heaven and Earth", but is ultimately unsolvable, because (most) religions demands the acceptance of some unquestionable Truths, while scientific thinking is based on the continuous questioning of any truth. Thus, for Rovelli the source of the conflict is not the pretense of science to give answers—the universe, for Rovelli, is full of mystery, and a source of awe and emotions—but, on the contrary, the source of the conflict is the acceptance of our ignorance at the foundation of science, which clashes with religions' pretense to be depositories of certain knowledge.

Videos
Books
The Order of Time

The Order of Time

Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity

Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity

Anaximander

Anaximander

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

FAQs
  • How do I book Carlo Rovelli to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Carlo Rovelli for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Carlo Rovelli, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Carlo Rovelli or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Carlo Rovelli

    Speaking fees for Carlo Rovelli, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Carlo Rovelli are $50,000 - $100,000 for live events and $30,000 - $50,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Carlo Rovelli, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Carlo Rovelli speak about?

    Carlo Rovelli is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Authors, Science and Technology, Technology Speakers.
  • Where does Carlo Rovelli travel from?

    Carlo Rovelli generally travels from France, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Carlo Rovelli’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Carlo Rovelli for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Carlo Rovelli for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Carlo Rovelli or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.
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All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

Italian Theoretical Physicist and Writer

Travels From:
France
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Carlo Rovelli Biography

Carlo Rovelli (born 3 May 1956) is an Italian theoretical physicist and writer who has worked in Italy and the USA, and currently works in France. His work is mainly in the field of quantum gravity, where he is among the founders of the loop quantum gravity theory. He has also worked in the history and philosophy of science. He collaborates regularly with several Italian newspapers, in particular the cultural supplements of Il Sole 24 Ore and La Repubblica.

Carlo Rovelli was born in Verona, Italy, in 1956. In the 1970s, he participated in the student political movements in Italian universities. He was involved with the free political radio stations Radio Alice in Bologna and Radio Anguana in Verona, which he helped found. In conjunction with his political activity, he was charged, but later released, for crimes of opinion related to the book Fatti Nostri, which he co-authored with Enrico Palandri, Maurizio Torrealta, and Claudio Piersanti.

In 1981, Rovelli graduated with a BS/MS in Physics from the University of Bologna, and in 1986 he obtained his PhD at the University of Padova, Italy. Rovelli refused military service, which was compulsory in Italy at the time, and was therefore briefly detained in 1987. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Rome, Trieste, and at Yale University. Rovelli was on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh from 1990 to 2000. He is currently at the Aix-Marseille University, in the Centre de Physique Théorique, in Marseille, France. He has also long held the post of Affiliated Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the University of Pittsburgh. He is the first president of the Samy Maroun Center founded in 2014.

In 1988, Carlo Rovelli, Lee Smolin, and Abhay Ashtekar introduced a theory of quantum gravity called loop quantum gravity. In 1995, Rovelli and Smolin obtained a basis of states of quantum gravity, labelled by Penrose's spin networks, and using this basis they were able to show that the theory predicts that area and volume are quantized. This result indicates the existence of a discrete structure of space at very small scale. In 1997, Rovelli and Michael Reisenberger introduced a "sum over surfaces" formulation of theory, which has since evolved into the currently covariant "spinfoam" version of loop quantum gravity. In 2008, in collaboration with Jonathan Engle and Roberto Pereira, he has introduced the spin foam vertex amplitude which is the basis of the current definition of the loop quantum gravity covariant dynamics. The loop theory is today considered a candidate for a quantum theory of gravity. It finds applications in quantum cosmology, spinfoam cosmology, and quantum black hole physics.

In his 2004 book Quantum Gravity, Rovelli developed a formulation of classical and quantum mechanics that does not make explicit reference to the notion of time. The timeless formalism is needed to describe the world in the regimes where the quantum properties of the gravitational field cannot be disregarded. This is because the quantum fluctuation of spacetime itself make the notion of time unsuitable for writing physical laws in the conventional form of evolution laws in time. This position has led him to face the following problem: if time is not part of the fundamental theory of the world, then how does time emerge? In 1993, in collaboration with Alain Connes, Rovelli has proposed a solution to this problem called the thermal time hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, time emerges only in a thermodynamic or statistical context. If this is correct, the flow of time is an illusion, one deriving from the incompleteness of knowledge.

In 1994, Rovelli introduced the relational interpretation of quantum mechanics, based on the idea that the quantum state of a system must always be interpreted relative to another physical system (like the "velocity of an object" is always relative to another object, in classical mechanics). The idea has been developed and analyzed in particular by Bas van Fraassen and by Michel Bitbol. Among other important consequences, it provides a solution of the EPR paradox that does not violate locality. Rovelli has written a book on the Greek philosopher Anaximander, published in France, Italy, US and Brazil. The book analyses the main aspects of scientific thinking and articulates Rovelli's views on science. Anaximander is presented in the book as a main initiator of scientific thinking.

For Rovelli, science is a continuous process of exploring novel possible views of the world; this happens via a "learned rebellion," which always builds and relies on previous knowledge but at the same time continuously questions aspects of this received knowledge. The foundation of science, therefore, is not certainty but the very opposite, a radical uncertainty about our own knowledge, or equivalently, an acute awareness of the extent of our ignorance.

Rovelli discusses his religious views in several articles and in his book on Anaximander. He argues that the conflict between rational/scientific thinking and structured religion may find periods of truce ("there is no contradiction between solving Maxwell's equations and believing that God created Heaven and Earth", but is ultimately unsolvable, because (most) religions demands the acceptance of some unquestionable Truths, while scientific thinking is based on the continuous questioning of any truth. Thus, for Rovelli the source of the conflict is not the pretense of science to give answers—the universe, for Rovelli, is full of mystery, and a source of awe and emotions—but, on the contrary, the source of the conflict is the acceptance of our ignorance at the foundation of science, which clashes with religions' pretense to be depositories of certain knowledge.

Carlo Rovelli Videos

  • The Physics and Philosophy of Time - with Carlo Rovelli
    From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Carlo...
  • Time does not exist: Carlo Rovelli at TEDxLakeComo
    Carlo Rovelli is a theoretical physicist known for his work on quantum gravity.

Carlo Rovelli Books

FAQs on booking Carlo Rovelli

  • How do I book Carlo Rovelli to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Carlo Rovelli for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Carlo Rovelli, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Carlo Rovelli or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Carlo Rovelli

    Speaking fees for Carlo Rovelli, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Carlo Rovelli are $50,000 - $100,000 for live events and $30,000 - $50,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Carlo Rovelli, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Carlo Rovelli speak about?

    Carlo Rovelli is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Authors, Science and Technology, Technology Speakers.
  • Where does Carlo Rovelli travel from?

    Carlo Rovelli generally travels from France, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances across the country.
  • Who is Carlo Rovelli’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Carlo Rovelli for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Carlo Rovelli for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

    AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Carlo Rovelli or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.
  • Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Carlo Rovelli is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Carlo Rovelli for your event is $50,000 - $100,000. Carlo Rovelli generally travels from France and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Peter Diamandis, Max Tegmark, Leonard Mlodinow, Richard Florida and Anne Matsuura. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Carlo Rovelli for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Carlo Rovelli Speaker Videos

  • The Physics and Philosophy of Time - with Carlo Rovelli
    From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Carlo Rovelli brings together physics, philosophy and...
    Time does not exist: Carlo Rovelli at TEDxLakeComo
    Carlo Rovelli is a theoretical physicist known for his work on quantum gravity.

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Speakers Similar to Carlo Rovelli

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent and wish to request a profile update or removal from our online directory, please submit a profile request form.

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