A new digital narrative developed and designed by Mathieu Triay and Matthew Young beautifully brings to life Carlo Rovelli’s bestselling book Seven Brief Lessons in Physics. The book, which explains our universe and the evolution of physics in seven short, simple lessons, has already sold over 300,000 in Rovelli’s native Italy. Inspired by Coralie Bickford-Smith’s cover design – a burst of copper particles against a black background – the website uses the same visual language and crafts a unique interactive animation for each of the chapters. The resulting animations allow readers to experiment with the principles of physics in the most striking ways, and are accompanied by audio and text extracts to explain what’s happening on screen. At the click of your mouse, particles swirl and undulate, multiply, scatter, disappear and explode, all by the hundreds.
Matthew and Mathieu feel a crucial element to the site is its playfulness. “The site is serious, yet playful, and we think that’s very important. We want it to be enjoyable to use; the more people that play around adding particles, creating explosions and warping gravity, the better. It also offers something for people who are reading or have already read the book — the interactive diagrams offer another level of understanding and playfulness which you can’t get in print.”