#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.
Hawking, the renowned Cambridge mathematician, teams up with Mlodinow, a physicist at Caltech, for a brief introduction to "the grand design" of the universe. If this project seems ambitious for a four and a half hour audio production, it is; however, even general readers will be able to follow along as the authors guide us through M-theories, quantum mechanics, general and special relativity, and other mind-blowing cosmological discoveries of the last century. The goal of all these journeys through the history of science is to answer some basic questions: why is there a universe in the first place? What other universes may in fact be possible, given Richard Feynman's theory of multiple histories? The audio version of this book is simple and scaled down. Despite an engaging and capable performance by West End stage actor Steve West, some listeners might long for more content diagrams or video tracks to accompany and augment the lecture. A Bantam hardcover. \n
A comprehensible glimpse into thinking leading up to M-theory
...but definitely challenging at times as a few of the ideas were a little too conceptual for someone like me who was a science major way back in the 19th century it seems (11 dimensions? Of course!). I am hoping that time away from it then a second read will help close the 10% (ok 30%) or so that I struggled with.
That said, overall a very enjoyable and stimulating read, with many efforts to simplify and use examples, analogies, with some monty python moments thrown in.
Very interesting read
If you're interested in physics and the origin an workings of the universe, then you'll love this book. Complex quantum physics theories are toned down in order to grasp the general ideas although I believe a general knowledge of physics is still required to follow along. Still not an easy read but definitely worth taking the time to understand the concepts. I highly enjoyed it.
Read this when I was 14
Great book. His depictions of scientific experiments is amazing. Unlike "A Brief History of Time", he doesn't make stretches for the possibility of some scientific ideas. I also was strongly convinced by his description of the multiverse theory. His discussion of the 11 dimensions wasn't very passionate in comparison to his other discussions. I am taking a liking to the M-theory, but I have troubles going after ideas with little to no evidence. Must be why I'm an atheist.