• How to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch

  • In Search of the Recipe for Our Universe, from the Origins of Atoms to the Big Bang
  • By: Harry Cliff
  • Narrated by: Harry Cliff
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.00

Buy for $28.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Named a Best Science Book of 2021 by Kirkus 

An acclaimed experimental physicist at CERN takes you on an exhilarating search for the most basic building blocks of our universe, and the dramatic quest to unlock their cosmic origins.

"A fascinating exploration of how we learned what matter really is, and the journey matter takes from the Big Bang, through exploding stars, ultimately to you and me." (Sean Carroll)

Carl Sagan once quipped, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” But finding the ultimate recipe for apple pie means answering some big questions: What is matter really made of? How did it escape annihilation in the fearsome heat of the Big Bang? And will we ever be able to understand the very first moments of our universe?

In How to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch, Harry Cliff - a University of Cambridge particle physicist and researcher on the Large Hadron Collider - sets out in pursuit of answers. He ventures to the largest underground research facility in the world, deep beneath Italy's Gran Sasso mountains, where scientists gaze into the heart of the Sun using the most elusive of particles, the ghostly neutrino. He visits CERN in Switzerland to explore the "Antimatter Factory," where the stuff of science fiction is manufactured daily (and we're close to knowing whether it falls up). And he reveals what the latest data from the Large Hadron Collider may be telling us about the fundamental nature of matter.

Along the way, Cliff illuminates the history of physics, chemistry, and astronomy that brought us to our present understanding - and misunderstandings - of the world, while offering listeners a front-row seat to one of the most dramatic intellectual journeys human beings have ever embarked on.

A transfixing deep dive into the origins of our world, How to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch examines not just the makeup of our universe, but the awe-inspiring, improbable fact that it exists at all.

©2021 Harry Cliff (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Why is there stuff? Where did it all come from? Harry Cliff brings an experimental physicist's willingness to get his hands dirty to these philosophical-sounding questions. This book is a fascinating exploration of how we learned what matter really is, and the journey matter takes from the Big Bang, through exploding stars, ultimately to you and me." (Sean Carroll, New York Times best-selling author of Something Deeply Hidden)

"A delightfully fresh and accessible account of one of the great quests of science - to identify and understand the ultimate building blocks of the Universe. Physicist Harry Cliff has found a recipe for an easily digestible approach, and the results go down a treat." (Graham Farmelo, author of The Strangest Man and the The Universe Speaks in Numbers)

"An enthusiastic tour of the universe and modern physics.... Enlightening.... Cliff describes complex ideas vividly and accessibly, and he’s got a knack for making theory exciting. This enlightening and entertaining outing is worth savoring." (Publishers Weekly, starred review) 

What listeners say about How to Make an Apple Pie from Scratch

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Down the rabbit hole in a most fascinating way!

Bravo to Harry Cliff for an illuminating trip through the most current physics understandable by science as of his writing in 2019. Narrated by Harry Cliff added listening value that prompted me to not only rate this audio book 5 stars for the story, but for all 3 categories. This was an amazing listen and I plan to purchase the hard copy also for the photos. Each chapter delves into a different quantum arena that never really ends. The analogy of "How to make an Apple Pie from Scratch" can be referenced back to Carl Sagan, and his quote "First you have to invent the universe". From the discovery of the electron, then proton and finally neutron, most non physics types would consider the story has ended. Jump to Isotopes, then anti-particles, quarks, and all the pieces of the standard table and you are left with a zoo of sub atomic particles that are eventually describe as forces. Learn all about the Higgs Field, and the magic GEV point, and what that really means. I found the entire story almost enchanting. I know that is not a very scientific description, but it really was most unbelievable. Harry is quite forth write when at some point in most chapters he says, "but there is a problem", and that is what enhances each chapter and leads to the next. You will have the experience of hearing the descriptions of the Giant accelerators at CERN
( The European Organization for Nuclear Research ). Here is where science has actually created atoms of anti-hydrogen by the hundreds contained in a special magnetic field, actually anti- matter. You will get a tour of LIGO ( Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory ) and the discovery of gravitational waves. You will learn about the ESA's ( European Space Agency ) project LISA ( Laser Interferometer Space Antenna ) for the ultimate space telescope comprising 3 separate satellite's linked together by lasers scheduled for 2034. The project is separated by 2.5 million km in a triangular orbit around our Sun. Finally, Harry does make his Apple Pie from scratch. It's a funny and silly description that he admits too, but in the end it's quite a delicious finish.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent.

One of the best explanations of this fascinating and complex topic. What a brilliant and inspiring young scientist Harry Cliff is.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best science book ever!!!

I love listening to general public science books and this one is the best. Particle physics can be a tough subject but this book makes it understandable, fascinating, and fun. If I had been in high school and read this book I would have become a physicist for sure. Harry Cliff does a wonderful job narrating this book. Even though I just finished it, I want to listen again. I’ll be giving this book to a lot of people for Christmas.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Recipe for Fantastic fun!

A unique and accessible “vector” into the inner workings of the Universe and Multiverse! Cliff takes us on a journey into the limits of the known and unknown.