The Grand Design

The Grand Design

Book - 2010
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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, 2010.
ISBN: 9780553805376
Characteristics: 198 p. :,ill. (some col.), col. maps ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Mlodinow, Leonard 1954-


From Library Staff

Along with Caltech physicist Mlodinow (The Drunkard's Walk), University of Cambridge cosmologist Hawking (A Brief History of Time)deftly mixes cutting-edge physics to answer three key questions--Why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why this particular set of laws and not s... Read More »

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Oct 26, 2018

I do not read many books; most books are hard for me to keep reading and enjoy; this was not one of those kind of books. This book was hard for me to put down, as the content and the way the book reads is great. 5 stars for sure from me.

Aug 27, 2018

It is incredibly well written leading readers with college admission level to understand the path that ends with a logical conclusion that there is the Grand Design of the existence of the universe.
No math required. Just logical thinking with evidence from experiments that validate the theories the evolve before Newton's time to the current M-theory that covers the four forces, gravity, electromagnetic, weak (fission) and strong (fusion).
I must admit, the most bewildering part is that the universe can come from nothing! How that can be validated by experiments will take decades, just like the existence of esoteric sub-atomic particles.

sundanced May 29, 2018

A fantastic book on quantum theory and the larger questions of life. Best for people interested in the subject.

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.

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.

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.

Sep 06, 2012

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

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.

Apr 10, 2011

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

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