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What do you ask the man who knows everything? The theoretical physicist and bestselling author answers questions from famous fans and Observer readers.

Theoretical physicists and mathematicians are fond of describing their theories and equations as beautiful but very few writers are able to bring this elegance to life for the general public. The Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli has proved himself to be one of those rare figures. His first attempt at writing a book for a mainstream audience, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics (2014), outsold Fifty Shades of Grey in his home country, has been translated into 41 languages and sold more than 1m copies. His second, The Order of Time, is an appreciation and lucid deconstruction of a quality we take for granted – “We inhabit time as fish live in water,” he writes.

Like other popular scientists such as Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and Brian Cox, Rovelli feeds our fascination with the fundamental forces that make our universe tick. Here, famous fans and Observer readers question him further.

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