The Grand Design

The Grand Design

Book - 2010
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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
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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.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, c2010.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780553805376
0553805371
Branch Call Number: 530.142 HAWKING
Characteristics: 198 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Mlodinow, Leonard 1954-

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m
mousa75
Jun 20, 2016

Hawking has written this book for people to understand easily. However, he explains the theories very well. yet, he hasn't explained that there is no god makes the universal. I still believe the universal has been made by god.

johnf108 Aug 10, 2014

Mlodinow is an ETHS grad.

j
jeremidoucet
Jun 28, 2014

Very well written and fascinating. Hawking explains subjects such as quantum physics and general relativity in a very intelligible manner which makes for a pleasant read.

s
stkim0
Nov 12, 2013

Quite an amazing book if you're interested in this type of subject. Latter parts of the book can be difficult to follow, but I had a hard time putting the book down.

i
isaacasimov
Sep 06, 2012

Not quite there yet, but getting closer. Nice attempt Stephen.

i
isumat
Jun 04, 2012

I have ALWAYS enjoyed Stephen Hawkings writings and work, and this book is very well worth reading. A thorough explanation of the current state of cosmology. What we are left with is theories that, though mathematically plausible, will never be observable (for example, a multiverse). Hawking fiercely pursues the very pure, scientific notion that 'there are no miracles,' and we no longer 'have any need for God.' But the fantastic machine that is, ultimately, our universe (even as described by Hawking) is nothing short of miraculous. Hmmm. It turns out, even as you peer to the very edges of the cosmos, or imagine the tiniest particle, you still have to have faith.... of one kind or another.

d
danielestes
Mar 16, 2012

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow mostly succeeds at being accessible to the average reader given the academic subject matter. Still, it was hard to wrap my mind around some of the concepts. The examples were clear, but like physics itself, understanding them often required thinking in multiple dimensions.

This book, as others like it, is a welcomed continual plea to bring scientific thinking to the greater public. The world surprisingly still leans heavily on superstition in trying to make sense of this mysterious space called the universe.

s
sherry411
Oct 08, 2011

Well written and easy for us non-genius's to understand. And stink'in funny too! Great book.

2
21288004246712
Apr 10, 2011

Readable, but unless you understand quantum theory the second half of this book is incomprehensible.

l
lilwordworm
Mar 03, 2011

Blew my mind. Yes, it is about quantum physics but there is not a single math equation. Well written, and even more importantly, simply written. It openly admits how little we (and by we I mean the brightest, most educated and talented scientists) know about this universe. Guided by science, it opens your mind to the infinite possibilities that is our cosmos. My inner scientist and hippie need not conflict!

The only thing that prevented this book from being a 5 out of 5 is its last chapter, which clumsily tried to maintain that there is no special "being" that created this world. But if ANYthing is possible, then it begs the question why NOT the divine?

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