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The Grand Design: New Answers to the Ultimate Questions of Life [Hardcover]

Stephen Hawking , Leonard Mlodinow
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)

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Review

"This is mind-blowing stuff" (The Sunday Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

New answers to the ultimate questions of life from the world's most famous living scientist.

From the Inside Flap

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 for 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 The Grand Design, the most recent scientific thinking about the mysteries of the universe is presented in language marked by both brilliance and simplicity.

The Grand Design explains the latest thoughts about model-dependent realism (the idea that there is no one version of reality), and about the multiverse concept of reality in which there are many universes. There are new ideas about the top-down theory of cosmology (the idea that there is no one history of the universe, but that every possible history exists). It concludes with a riveting assessment of m-theory, and discusses whether it is the unified theory Einstein spent a lifetime searching for.

This is the first major work in nearly a decade by one of the world's greatest thinkers. 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.

From the Back Cover

STEPHEN HAWKING held the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663, for thirty years. Professor Hawking is now Director of Research for the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. He has over a dozen honorary degrees, and was awarded the Companion of Honour in 1989. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US Natonal Academy of Science. His books include the bestselling A Brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, The Universe in a Nutshell and A Briefer History of Time. Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. He lives in Cambridge.

Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist at Caltech University and the bestselling author of The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules our Lives, Euclid's Window: the Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace, and Feynman's Rainbow:A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life. He has also been a writer for Star Trek: the Next Generation. He lives in South Pasadena, California.

About the Author

STEPHEN HAWKING held the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663, for thirty years. Professor Hawking is now Director of Research for the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. He has over a dozen honorary degrees, and was awarded the Companion of Honour in 1989. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US Natonal Academy of Science. His books include the bestselling A Brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, The Universe in a Nutshell and A Briefer History of Time. Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. He lives in Cambridge.

Physicist LEONARD MLODINOW has taught at Cal Tech, written for Star Trek: The Next Generation, and is the author of Euclid's Window, Feynman's Rainbow and Some Time with Feynman.

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