- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Atria Books; unknown edition (January 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451624468
- ISBN-13: 978-1451624465
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,001 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing unknown Edition
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"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, author of The Moral Landscape
"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? and The Golden Ratio
"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, author of The Lightness of Being
"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 muddle over, but that science can offer real answers to, as Krauss's 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
"We have been living through a revolution in cosmology as wondrous as that initiated by Copernicus. Here is the essential, engrossing and brilliant guide."
“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
"Lively and humorous as well as informative… As compelling as it is intriguing.” (Publishers Weekly)
“[An] excellent guide to cutting-edge physics… It is detailed but lucid, thorough but not stodgy… [an] insightful book… Space and time can indeed come from nothing; nothing, as Krauss explains beautifully. …A Universe From Nothing is a great book: readable, informative and topical.” (New Scientist)
"Krauss possesses a rare talent for making the hardest ideas in astrophysics accessible to the layman, due in part to his sly humor… one has to hope that this book won't appeal only to the partisans of the culture wars – it's just too good and interesting for that. Krauss is genuinely in awe of the "wondrously strange" nature of our physical world, and his enthusiasm is infectious.” (San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, AP)
“How physicists came up with the current model of the cosmos is quite a story, and to tell it in his elegant A Universe From Nothing, physicist Lawrence Krauss walks a carefully laid path… It would be easy for this remarkable story to revel in self-congratulation, but Krauss steers it soberly and with grace… His asides on how he views each piece of science and its chances of being right are refreshingly honest…unstable nothingness, as described by Krauss… is also invigorating for the rest of us, because in this nothingness there are many wonderful things to see and understand.” (Nature)
"In A Universe From Nothing, Lawrence Krauss, celebrated physicist, speaker and author, tackles all that plus a whole lot else. In fewer than 200 pages, he delivers a spirited, fast-paced romp through modern cosmology and its strong underpinnings in astronomical observations and particle physics theory.Krauss’s slim volume is bolder in its premise and more ambitious in its scope than most. He makes a persuasive case that the ultimate question of cosmic origin – how something, namely the universe, could arise from nothing – belongs in the realm of science rather than theology or philosophy." (Globe & Mail)
“An eloquent guide to our expanding universe… There have been a number of fine cosmology books published recently but few have gone so far, and none so eloquently, in exploring why it is unnecessary to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper and set the universe in motion.”
"His arguments for the birth of the universe out of nothingness from a physical, rather than theological, beginning not only are logical but celebrate the wonder of our natural universe. Recommended." (Library Journal)
“Krauss possesses a rare talent for making the hardest ideas in astrophysics accessible to the layman, due in part to his sly humor… one has to hope that this book won't appeal only to the partisans of the culture wars – it's just too good and interesting for that. Krauss is genuinely in awe of the "wondrously strange" nature of our physical world, and his enthusiasm is infectious.” (Associated Press)
"With its mind-bending mechanics, Krauss argues, our universe may indeed have appeared from nowhere, rather than at the hands of a divine creator. There's some intellectual heavy lifting here—Einstein is the main character, after all—but the concepts are articulated clearly, and the thrill of discovery is contagious. 'We are like the early terrestrial mapmakers,' Krauss writes, puzzling out what was once solely the province of our imaginations." (Mother Jones)
"The author delivers plenty of jolts in this enthusiastic and lucid but demanding overview of the universe, which includes plenty of mysteries—but its origin isn’t among them. A thoughtful, challenging book." (Kirkus)
"People always say you can't get something from nothing. Thankfully, Lawrence Krauss didn't listen. In fact, something big happens to you during this book about cosmic nothing, and before you can help it, your mind will be expanding as rapidly as the early universe." (Sam Kean, author of The Disappearing Spoon)
"A very interesting read from a foremost physicist of our time." (Santa Barbara Independent)
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Top customer reviews
My only reservation is that, having explained to us so well how quantum fluctuations can lead to something from nothing, he does not tackle the next turtle down, namely, what might have caused quantum fluctuations themselves, and the phenomenon of spacetime inflation, to exist? He invokes the bubbling oatmeal (or turtle soup?) of a multiverse as the probable instigator, and our quantum fluctuations as a chance result of that churning mush, but where did the oats and the water and the stove and the pot come from? I gather that the answers are yet to be discovered, but I would have appreciated him lifting this turtle too and peeking underneath, if only via speculation.
No I am not chasing the God of the Gaps here. God drowned in the oatmeal early in the book. And Krauss points out that every cosmic phenomenon need not have a cause, simply because it does in our humdrum human lives. Still, I was left with a tinge of Einsteinian indigestion about God not playing dice. Do dice really pop in and out of existence without any explanation other than... that's just the way it is? I'd have enjoyed hearing his thoughts about that, even if pure speculation.
These quantum fields and their vital fluctuations may well be brute facts of our universe, a primitive feature of nature. If so, their presence throughout all of space points to something more than the extremes of being and nonbeing, or to the mutually entailing opposites of something or nothing. Rather they evince the interconnected and dependent nature of all things. They remind us that everything is "somehow" connected to everything else. Quantum fields and their fluctuations are that "somehow".
The fleeting existence of the virtual binds space and matter seamlessly, evincing the interconnectedness of form and formlessness. Though lacking a prior moment, virtual particles are neither self instantiated nor do they arise without a cause. They do not abide independently. Rather they arise in dependence upon their fields, upon each other, upon the adjacent non-virtual particles, upon the dark energy flowing among the stars, and the gravity that is the presence of those stars, the curvature of spacetime.
Virtual particles are neither nothing nor are they an inherently existing something; they are, as are all phenomena, dependent arisings, conventionally and nominally existent and ultimately nonexistent.