The Grand Design

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The Grand Design

Format:  Paperback,

199 pages

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: Feb 2012

ISBN-13: 9780553384666

ISBN-10: 055338466X

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.

#1 "NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLER
When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent "grand design" of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion--or does science offer another explanation? In this startling and lavishly illustrated book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about these and other abiding mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by brilliance and simplicity.
According to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history. The authors explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the "multiverse"--the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. They conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing our universe that is currently the "only" viable candidate for a "theory of everything" the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, which, if confirmed, would represent the ultimate triumph of human reason.

Specifications

Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: Feb 2012
ISBN-13: 9780553384666
ISBN-10: 055338466X
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 199
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.05
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.0 x 9.0 x 0.5

About the author

Biography of Hawking, Stephen W.

Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 in Oxford, England. As a student at Oxford University, Hawking studied Physics, and after three years was awarded a first class honors degree in Natural Science. After gaining a Ph.D. from Cambridge, Hawking became a Research Fellow, and later on a Professional Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. Widely regarded as one of the greatest theoretical physicists since Einstein, Hawking has held the post as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge since 1979. Most famous for his research on black holes, he has written the books A Brief History of Time and Black Holes and Baby Universes, a collection of essays published in 1993. He also authored the books On the Shoulders of Giants, A Briefer History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, and The Grand Design. Hawking is also the author of numerous articles for scientific papers, has 12 honorary degrees and is a Fellow of The Royal Society and a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Hawking was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease in his early 20s and is now confined to a wheelchair. He uses a computer device to help him speak. Hawking holds a professorship at the University of Oxford.

Biography of Mlodinow, Leonard

Leonard Mlodinow was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1954. He received bachelor's degrees in math and physics and a master's degree in physics from Brandeis University and a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a Bantrell Research Fellow in Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, and then became an Alexander Avon Humboldt fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich, Germany.

In the 1980's, he wrote for numerous television shows including MacGyver, Star Trek: the Next Generation, and Night Court. In 1993, he decided to switch to computer gaming and became producer, executive producer and designer of several award-winning games. From 1997 to 2003, he was the vice president for software development and then vice president and publisher for math education at Scholastic Inc. In 2005, he began teaching at the California Institute of Technology.

He is now a full-time writer. His books include Euclid's Window, Feynman's Rainbow, A Briefer History of Time with Stephen Hawking, The Drunkard's Walk, The Grand Design with Stephen Hawking, and War of the Worldviews with Deepak Chopra. He has also written two children's books with Matt Costello: The Last Dinosaur and Titanic Cat.

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2010-12-01)

Physicists Hawking (www.hawking.org.uk) and Mlodinow (Feynman's Rainbow), who last collaborated on A Briefer History of Time (2005), here embark on a journey to explore the origins of the universe and of life itself, presenting a collection of overlapping theories to help "fill in the blanks" of quantum physics and the theory of relativity. But though they use humor and draw on everyday experiences to which lay audiences can relate, this is not leisurely listening material; at times, it can be tough going. Thankfully, actor/narrator Steve West does an admirable job of keeping listeners focused and moving ahead. Sure to inspire, provoke, and anger audiences-perhaps even all three at the same time-this scholarly title is recommended as demand warrants.

[The Bantam Ac, which published in September, was a New York Times best seller.-Ed.] - Emma Duncan, Brampton Lib., Ont.

(c). Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

THE FIRST MAJOR WORK IN NEARLY A DECADE BY ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT THINKERS—A MARVELOUSLY CONCISE BOOK WITH NEW ANSWERS TO THE ULTIMATE QUESTIONS OF LIFE

When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the nature of reality? Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like ourselves? And, finally, is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation?

The most fundamental questions about the origins of the universe and of life itself, once the province of philosophy, now occupy the territory where scientists, philosophers, and theologians meet—if only to disagree. In their new book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about the mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by both brilliance and simplicity.

In The Grand Design they explain that according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. When applied to the universe as a whole, this idea calls into question the very notion of cause and effect. But the “top-down” approach to cosmology that Hawking and

Mlodinow describe would say that the fact that the past takes no definite form means that we create history by observing it, rather than that history creates us. The authors further explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the very early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature.

Along the way Hawking and Mlodinow question the conventional concept of reality, posing a “model-dependent” theory of reality as the best we can hope to find. And they conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing us and our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a complete “theory of everything.” If confirmed, they write, it will be the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, and the ultimate triumph of human reason.

A succinct, startling, and lavishly illustrated guide to discoveries that are altering our understanding and threatening some of our most cherished belief systems, The Grand Design is a book that will inform—and provoke—like no other.

From the Hardcover edition.

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