- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; First Thus edition (13 Sept. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1471112683
- ISBN-13: 978-1471112683
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Universe From Nothing Paperback – 13 Sep 2012
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Where did the universe come from? American cosmologist Lawrence M. Krauss jousts with religious creationists in this trenchant book...thought-provoking --Sunday Telegraph
In this introduction to cosmology, the theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss explains how recent experimental observations have proved that it is scientifically possible for something to arise from nothing , providing further evidence for the Big Bang...he shows that science has an answer to what is often regarded as a theological question and that s certainly not nothing --Independent on Sunday
Science v philosophy: which can answer the big questions of life --Observer
About the Author
Lawrence M. Krauss is director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. He is the author of more than 300 scientific publications and nine books, and the recipient of numerous international awards for his research and writing. Hailed by Scientific American as a 'rare scientific public intellectual', he is also a regular columnist for newspapers and magazines and appears frequently on radio and television.
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Top Customer Reviews
The reason I wouldn't give it 5 stars is because I think some of concepts could have been better explained, and I had a lot of questions firing in my head as I read the book, which weren't answered. If you read a book by Richard Dawkins, he explains everything in almost too much detail (and I find myself thinking 'yeah, yeah, I got it' and skipping ahead) - in this book it's the opposite.
Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh in that our brains have not evolved to be able to visualize quantum mechanics, and it can only really be understood by the mathematics - the level of which is beyond the majority of the population.
Krauss starts with the standard history of the Big Bang: the evidence that supports it, and the need to introduce `dark matter' to reconcile measurements of galactic dynamics with the observed mass of their constituents. Dark matter is about 30% of the energy of the universe. Its nature is still unknown and is a very active field of research in particle physics. Then came the speculation that quantum fluctuations result indirectly in `empty space' being the source of an even greater energy, the so-called `dark energy', which would be about 70% of the total energy of the universe. The amount of mass/energy in the universe determines its geometry, and experiments in 1998 confirmed a `flat' universe (the meaning of this term is carefully explained) so the existence of dark energy is now inescapable. It implies a resulting force that causes the expansion of the universe to increase, rather than to decrease, as had been assumed. The origin and nature of dark energy is the greatest unsolved puzzle in physics today.
Krauss then considers how quantum fluctuations could have produced the conditions for a flat universe, since even a minute deviation from flatness at the time of the Big Bang would not produce the flat universe we see today.Read more ›
The author wisely advises the reader quoting Jacob Bronowski that the nature of the universe will not be the result of hope, revelation, or pure thought;it will emanate from probing its nature and we have to accept it as it is whether we like it or not and even when it runs counter to our intuition or defies our imagination.
I find it productive to commence the review proper by defining what the author means by the term 'nothing' because in science even 'nothing' has to be defined. In the context of the book it means empty space with energy associated with it, even in the absence of any matter or radiation and in which the laws of nature such as quantum mechanics and general relativity operate. In this sense empty space is complicated. It is teeming with virtual particles that pop in and out of existence in a time so brief we cannot see them directly. Virtual particles are manifestations of a basic property of quantum systems. These 'quantum fluctuations' imply something about the quantum world:nothing always produces something, if only for an instant;or as cosmologist and Nobel prize laureate, Frank Wilczek aptly put it 'nothing' is unstable.Read more ›
In this book, the author, expanding on his popular YouTube video, describes how developments in cosmology over the last 20 years or so have helped further our understanding of the origin of our universe as well as where it is likely to be heading and how "something" may indeed have come from "nothing". We may, as the author points out, also be extremely fortunate to be living in what is a (cosmologically speaking) brief window in the history of the universe in which the evidence for the origin of the universe is relatively easily observed and deduced.
Generally speaking, I found this to be as well-written and lucid account of our current understanding of our universe, its origins and future as any that I've come across. While the author in the main does a good job of getting across some complex ideas it isn't always an easy read and is tough going in places. I found myself on several occasions thinking "No. Don't get that!" and heading back to the start of that particular passage. It is worth sticking with though and does reward the patient reader, as I can testify!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lawrence Krauss is a genious. Well written a masterpice for all you novices.
Thank you Professor Krauss.
Fascinating read. I've most of it forgotten now, but it got me there.Published 11 days ago by An Chluas
Physics has three cornerstone theories -- the standard model of particle physics and quantum mechanics, which describes particles and fields at small scales; general relativity,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Marcus
This is a frst class description of current thinking in Cosmology. The author's writing style enables the non-specialist to grasp the fundamental problems without being totally... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lynden Hughes
stong arguments put forward by the author; However, the author is quite silent about ancient and beautiful ideas expressed in Hndu texts- vedas and upanishads. Read morePublished 2 months ago by R. Suryanarayanan