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The Talks at Google podcast - where great minds meet.

Talks at Google brings the world’s most influential thinkers, creators, makers, and doers all to one place. Every episode is taken from a video that can be seen at

Nov 30, 2021

In 1925, a young student named Werner Heisenberg retreated to an island archipelago on the north coast of Germany called Helgoland to escape a terrible bout of hay fever. On the treeless, pollen-free island, Heisenberg made crucial breakthroughs for the creation of quantum mechanics, setting off a century of scientific revolution. Full of alarming ideas such as ghost waves, distant objects that seem to be magically connected, and cats that appear to be both dead and alive, quantum physics has led to countless discoveries and technological advancements. Today our understanding of the world is based on this theory, yet it is still profoundly mysterious.

As scientists and philosophers continue to fiercely debate the meaning of the theory, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli argues that its most unsettling contradictions can be explained by seeing the world as fundamentally made of relationships rather than substances. We and everything around us exist only in our interactions with one another. This bold idea suggests new directions for thinking about the structure of reality, and even the nature of consciousness. Rovelli makes learning about quantum mechanics an almost psychedelic experience. Shifting our perspective once again, he takes us on a riveting journey through the universe so we can better comprehend our place in it.

Moderated by Sanders Kleinfeld.

Visit to watch the video.