“WHERE DID THE UNIVERSE COME FROM? WHAT WAS THERE BEFORE IT? WHAT WILL THE FUTURE BRING? AND FINALLY, WHY IS THERE SOMETHING RATHER THAN NOTHING?”
Now with color illustrations throughout.
Lawrence Krauss’s provocative answers to these and other timeless questions in a wildly popular lecture now on YouTube have attracted almost a million viewers. The last of these questions in particular has been at the center of religious and philosophical debates about the existence of God, and it’s the supposed counterargument to anyone who questions the need for God. As Krauss argues, scientists have, however, historically focused on other, more pressing issues—such as figuring out how the universe actually functions, which can ultimately help us to improve the quality of our lives.
Now, in a cosmological story that rivets as it enlightens, pioneering theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss explains the groundbreaking new scientific advances that turn the most basic philosophical questions on their heads. One of the few prominent scientists today to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss reveals that modern science is addressing the question of why there is something rather than nothing, with surprising and fascinating results. The staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories are all described accessibly in A Universe from Nothing, and they suggest that not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing.
With his characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations, Krauss takes us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end. It will provoke, challenge, and delight readers as it looks at the most basic underpinnings of existence in a whole new way. And this knowledge that our universe will be quite different in the future from today has profound implications and directly affects how we live in the present. As Richard Dawkins has described it: This could potentially be the most important scientific book with implications for supernaturalism since Darwin.
A fascinating antidote to outmoded philosophical and religious thinking, A Universe from Nothing is a provocative, game-changing entry into the debate about the existence of God and everything that exists. “Forget Jesus,” Krauss has argued, “the stars died so you could be born.”
Readers interested in the evolution of the universe will find Krauss's account lively and humorous as well as informative. In 1925, Edwin Hubble ("who continues to give me great faith in humanity, because he started out as a lawyer, and then became an astronomer") showed that the universe was expanding. But what was it expanding from? Virtually nothing, an "infinitesimal point," said George LeMa�tre, who in 1929 proposed the idea of the Big Bang. His theory was later supported by the discovery of remnants of energy called cosmic microwave background radiation--"the afterglow of the Big Bang," as Krauss calls it. Researchers also discovered that the universe is expanding not at a steady rate but accelerating, driving matter farther apart faster and faster. Krauss, a professor and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, explores the consequences of a universe dominated by the "seemingly empty space" left by expansion, urging focused study before expansion pushes everything beyond our reach. Readers will find the result of Krauss's "[celebration of our] absolutely surprising and fascinating universe" as compelling as it is intriguing.(Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2011
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January 10, 2012
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