A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 920 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1451624465
ISBN-10: 1451624468
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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
"Seven Brief Lessons on Physics" by Carlo Rovelli
This playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics briskly explains Einstein's general relativity, quantum mechanics and the role humans play in this weird and wonderful world. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Theoretical physicist Krauss, author of several books about physics, including The Physics of Star Trek (1995), admits up front that he is not “sympathetic to the conviction that creation requires a creator.” The book isn’t exclusively an argument against divine creation, or intelligent design, but, rather, an exploration of a tantalizing question: How and why can something—the universe in which we live, for example—spring from nothing? It’s an evolutionary story, really, taking us back to the Big Bang and showing how the universe developed over billions of years into its present form. Sure to be controversial, for Krauss does not shy away from the atheistic implications of a scientifically explainable universe, the book is full of big ideas explained in simple, precise terms, making it accessible to all comers, from career physicists to the lay reader whose knowledge of the field begins and ends with a formula few understand, E=mc². --David Pitt

Review

''Nothing is not nothing. Nothing is something. That's how a cosmos can be spawned from the void--a profound idea conveyed in A Universe from Nothing that unsettles some yet enlightens others. Meanwhile, it's just another day on the job for physicist Lawrence Krauss.'' --Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History

''We have been living through a revolution in cosmology as wondrous as that initiated by Copernicus. Here is the essential, engrossing, and brilliant guide.'' --Ian McEwan, New York Times bestselling author

''In A Universe from Nothing, Lawrence Krauss has written a thrilling introduction to the current state of cosmology--the branch of science that tells us about the deep past and deeper future of everything. As it turns out, everything has a lot to do with nothing--and nothing to do with God. This is a brilliant and disarming book.'' --Sam Harris, New York Times bestselling author

''Astronomers at the beginning of the twentieth century were wondering whether there was anything beyond our Milky Way galaxy. As Lawrence Krauss lucidly explains, astronomers living two trillion years from now will perhaps be pondering precisely the same question! Beautifully navigating through deep intellectual waters, Krauss presents the most recent ideas on the nature of our cosmos and of our place within it. A fascinating read.'' --Mario Livio, author of Is God a Mathematician?

''In this clear and crisply written book, Lawrence Krauss outlines the compelling evidence that our complex cosmos has evolved from a hot, dense state and how this progress has emboldened theorists to develop fascinating speculations about how things really began.'' --Martin Rees, author of Our Final Hour

''A series of brilliant insights and astonishing discoveries have rocked the universe in recent years, and Lawrence Krauss has been in the thick of it. With his characteristic verve, and using many clever devices, he's made that remarkable story remarkably accessible. The climax is a bold scientific answer to the great question of existence: why is there something rather than nothing?'' --Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate and Herman Feshbach professor at MIT

''With characteristic wit, eloquence, and clarity Lawrence Krauss gives a wonderfully illuminating account of how science deals with one of the biggest questions of all: how the universe's existence could arise from nothing. It is a question that philosophy and theology get themselves into a muddle over, but that science can offer real answers too, as Krauss' lucid explanation shows. Here is the triumph of physics over metaphysics, reason and enquiry over obfuscation and myth, made plain for all to see: Krauss gives us a treat as well as an education in fascinating style.'' --A. C. Grayling, author of The Good Book

Product Details

  • File Size: 7751 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (January 10, 2012)
  • Publication Date: January 10, 2012
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004T4KQJS
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,389 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The explanation of Big Bang cosmology and general relativity was excellent. I learned a lot about both from reading the first parts of the book. Pages one through 21 are definitely a good way of starting off the book, with a complete explanation of the evidence for the Big Bang and simple diagrams to answer "Where is the center of the universe ?". Indeed, even the critics of his thesis seem to agree that he did a good job of explaining science.

I also enjoyed a lot of the humor in the book, like the jokes about the geometry skills of American high school students and the stereotype of the graduate student as a slave who does work the professors don't want to. The afterword from Richard Dawkins was beautiful as well.

As somebody interested in the philosophy of physics, particularly the origins of the universe, I was excited to read this book. I wanted to see the argument that was presented by Krauss in favor of the idea that the universe came from nothing, especially after reading Quentin Smith's argument for the same idea in Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology. Unfortunately, I found the title of the book to erroneous. The nothing that Lawrence Krauss describes in this book is not nothing. He is not describing the beginning of the universe from nothing, but the beginning of the universe from a quantum vacuum, which is described by physical laws and takes place in space-time. I don't think the content of the book lives up to the title. There is a debate in physics about whether virtual particles have real, ontological status, or if they are just results of equations and have no further implications on reality. I wish he had given more attention to this issue, because he didn't establish anything futher than the fact that the equations imply their existence.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss

"A Universe from Nothing" is the fascinating book about how our universe came from nothing. Using the latest in scientific knowledge, his expertise and the innate ability to explain very complex topics in accessible manner earns this book five stars. Lawrence Krauss takes us on an exciting voyage of discovery that helps us understand the universe and further whets our appetite for more knowledge. This 224-page book is composed of the following eleven chapters: 1. A Cosmic Mystery Story: Beginnings, 2. A Cosmic Mystery Story: Weighing the Universe, 3. Light from the Beginning of Time, 4. Much Ado About Nothing, 5. The Runaway Universe, 6. The Free Lunch at the End of the Universe, 7. Our Miserable Future, 8. A Grand Accident?, 9. Nothing Is Something, 10. Nothing Is Unstable, and 11. Brave New Worlds.

Positives:
1. This book is truly something! A page turner.
2. A thought-provoking, inspirational quest for knowledge...I loved it!
3. A profound book that is intelligible. An achievement in its own right. Very complex topics accessible to the masses. Thank you.
4. Elegant prose with conviction. Lucid and clarity in a world of dark matter.
5. A journey of cosmological discoveries.
6. Effective use of charts and illustrations.
7. I have a much better understanding of our universe as a result of this book and most importantly it has only whet my appetite for even more knowledge...and that's why I read.
8. A love affair with science and for good reason. The three key principles of scientific ethos.
9. Startling conclusions are presented. The author does a wonderful job of letting us know what we do know versus what we don't know.
10. Some of the greatest discoveries presented.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This shorter volume from Krauss marks his transition from talented science expositor to science champion. His crisp, clear and thorough discussion combines with a strong problem-focussed narrative to make this book a deserving popular science landmark. Some discussion retraces developments in physics that Krauss meticulously covers in previous longer books but this is necessary for a one-stop treatise on one of the most important topics in modern physics. Notes and references are omitted, acceptably in my opinion considering the briefer nature of this book. The development of the topic, the provision of a context through his intimate familiarity with the work of earlier physicists, and Krauss's offhand capacity to reduce complexity and hyperbole to a well rounded paragraph make this book pleasurable, rewarding and complete.

Krauss charts the development of theories regarding the universe's dimensions, mass, energy, inflation and homogeneity, touching on the importance of quantum fluctuations, dark energy and related phenomena. With this background, he explains Perlmutter's challenge, in 1996, to Krauss's statement that empty space might contain energy. With perfect timing, this book arrives just as Perlmutter, Reis and Schmidt gain their Nobel Prizes for confirming the accelerating expansion of the universe and as WMAP experiments hint at dark photons, all grist for the mill in the universe from nothing theory.

The treat at the end of this exposition is Krauss's scenario that humanity now enjoys the best opportunity, in terms of available evidence, to understand the universe's origin, evolution and fate. During this period, albeit billions of years long, we are able to still detect cosmic background radiation and view receding galaxies before they red-shift out of existence.
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