- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 055338466X
- ISBN-13: 978-0553384666
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 977 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Grand Design Reprint Edition
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“In this short and sprightly book . . . Hawking and Mlodinow take the reader through a whirlwind tour of fundamental physics and cosmology.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Fascinating . . . a wealth of ideas [that] leave us with a clearer understanding of modern physics in all its invigorating complexity.”—Los Angeles Times
“The authors bring to the field an anecdotal clarity that is something of a first for this genre. . . . Making science like this interesting is not all that hard; making it accessible is the real trick.”—Time
“Provocative pop science, an exploration of the latest thinking about the origins of our universe.”—The New York Times
“Introduces the reader to topics at the frontier of theoretical physics . . . more clearly for general readers than I have seen before.”—Steven Weinberg, The New York Review of Books
“Groundbreaking.”—The Washington Post
“A provocative, mind-expanding book.”—The Plain Dealer
About the Author
Stephen Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge for thirty years, and has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including, most recently, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His books for the general reader include the classic A Brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, The Universe in a Nutshell, and A Briefer History of Time. He lives in Cambridge, England.
Leonard Mlodinow received his doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of California at Berkeley, and teaches at Caltech. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules our Lives, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, War of the Worldviews: Science versus Spirituality (with Deepak Chopra), Feynman’s Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life, and Euclid’s Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace. He also wrote for Star Trek: The Next Generation. He lives in South Pasadena, California.
Top customer reviews
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While youtubing some topics the author brought up, like the double slit experiment, I quickly found out about new theories other than the "all histories at once" described in the book. I guess quantum physics is moving in a fast pace and I think the reader should be aware that some concepts in the book might be outdated in the near future.
One thing that struck me at the very end of this book was that there were passages listed in the index for page numbers above the number of pages in the book. E.g. antimatter indexed at page 228 in a book 208 pages long. Is the kindle version shortened? I don't remeber reading about antimatter in this book either, other than in the last section with a list of concepts and their brief description.
There tends to be long paragraphs of very complex material that isn't explained to the greatest potential, and that's after me re-reading some passages multiple times in order to get it.
Also, I don't think it would do a good job of convincing any religious person of forgoing the Genesis version of creation. The points the authors make on how the universe can be explained by what we know about physics alone are usually very good, but comprise a sentence or two at the end of a very long chapter. At that time I get the "Ah Ha!" moment, but since I didn't understand the material well enough, I don't retain the knowledge once I start on the next chapter. Those looking for reasons to brush this book off as science mumbo-jumbo could do so easily.
A positive is that I did get some good insight into the word of quantum physics, and I will be better prepared to understand material like this in the future.
At $14, it's one of the more expensive e-books I've bought and I can't really say it was worth it. Instead, if your interested in an easy-to-read book on things like this, and more, I highly recommend reading the book I mentioned above:
You've probably already heard about this book in the news for one reason only. This is the book where Hawkings, perhaps the most famous scientist of our era, supposedly comes out and declares himself Pope of the Atheists and that Science has proven God does not exist. Christians can safely put away their crucifixes. Not once does Hawkings say God does not exist, or that God didn't create the universe. He makes no truth claims whatsoever about gods and other supernatural beings. This is a book about physics first and foremost, and most of the text is devoted to the latest developments in "M-Theory", one of the leading candidates to be the Theory of Everything. The issue of religion doesn't come up much at all until the final chapter. Here's the quote where Hawkings (and talented co-author Leonard Mlodinow) come closest to taking a position:
"It is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is God, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God. In this view it is accepted that some entity exists that needs no creator, and that entity is called God. This is known as the first-cause argument for the existence of God. We claim, however, that it is possible to answer these questions purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings." (page 172)
I'll let you form your own opinion; you probably already have one.
Beyond that supposed scandal story, the book is an engaging and interesting read. I give only four stars, however, because it is sometimes a bit too light for my taste. At only 181 pages, I got through it in a couple of sittings. It also goes a bit too far, in my opinion, in terms of simplifying the science for popular consumption. But if you are interested at all in the Big Questions of Life the Universe and Everything, it's hard to find a 181-page book that covers the topic better.
Most recent customer reviews
Explained difficult subjects of physics very kindly, but the illustrations in the kindle edtion are not so satisfactory.Read more