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A Universe From Nothing

Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing
Krauss, Lawrence Maxwell (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
A Universe From Nothing
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"Authoritatively presents the most recent evidence that explains how our universe evolved--and the implications for how it's going to end"-- "Internationally known theoretical physicist and bestselling author Lawrence Krauss offers provocative, revelatory answers to the most basic philosophical questions: Where did our universe come from? Why is there something rather than nothing? And how is it all going to end? Why is there something rather than nothing?" is asked of anyone who says there is no God. Yet this is not so much a philosophical or religious question as it is a question about the natural world--and until now there has not been a satisfying scientific answer. Today, exciting scientific advances provide new insight into this cosmological mystery: Not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With his wonderfully clear arguments and wry humor, pioneering physicist Lawrence Krauss explains how in this fascinating antidote to outmoded philosophical and religious thinking. As he puts it in his entertaining video of the same title, which has received over 675,000 hits, "Forget Jesus. The stars died so you could be born." A mind-bending trip back to the beginning of the beginning, A Universe from Nothing authoritatively presents the most recent evidence that explains how our universe evolved--and the implications for how it's going to end. It will provoke, challenge, and delight readers to look 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 atheism since Darwin"--
Authors: Krauss, Lawrence Maxwell
Title: A universe from nothing
why there is something rather than nothing
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2012
Notes: Includes index
Summary: "Authoritatively presents the most recent evidence that explains how our universe evolved--and the implications for how it's going to end"--
"Internationally known theoretical physicist and bestselling author Lawrence Krauss offers provocative, revelatory answers to the most basic philosophical questions: Where did our universe come from? Why is there something rather than nothing? And how is it all going to end? Why is there something rather than nothing?" is asked of anyone who says there is no God. Yet this is not so much a philosophical or religious question as it is a question about the natural world--and until now there has not been a satisfying scientific answer. Today, exciting scientific advances provide new insight into this cosmological mystery: Not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With his wonderfully clear arguments and wry humor, pioneering physicist Lawrence Krauss explains how in this fascinating antidote to outmoded philosophical and religious thinking. As he puts it in his entertaining video of the same title, which has received over 675,000 hits, "Forget Jesus. The stars died so you could be born." A mind-bending trip back to the beginning of the beginning, A Universe from Nothing authoritatively presents the most recent evidence that explains how our universe evolved--and the implications for how it's going to end. It will provoke, challenge, and delight readers to look 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 atheism since Darwin"--
Local Note: PromptCat
(01/12)ss
ISBN: 145162445X
9781451624458
Branch Call Number: Non-F 523.18 Kra
Statement of Responsibility: Lawrence M. Krauss ; with a foreword by Christopher Hitchens and an afterword by Richard Dawkins
Subject Headings: End of the universe Beginning Cosmology
Topical Term: End of the universe
Beginning
Cosmology
LCCN: 2011032519
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Oct 04, 2013
  • msummers57 rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Multiverse proponent.

Sep 07, 2013
  • op_ed rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Well written and engaging. This book is an excellent counter to the notion that there had to be some kind of god thing to get it all started.

A good starting place for inquiring minds.

Does not need a math background to follow.

When you finish this one, go find some of Richard Dawkins' books, to open your mind a bit further.

May 31, 2013
  • naturalist rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"The universe may be the ultimate free lunch." Stephen Hawking

Feb 21, 2013
  • rationallady rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

While only 191 pages, you will read them slowly. It's the best astrophysics book I've read for awhile. It gives the best current scientific explanation for why there is something instead of nothing. A great segue from this book is "Why Does the World Exist" by Jim Holt, a philosophical look at a myriad of explanations. I'm unconvinced by all of them and so remain an agnostic.

A great book with interesting concepts and comparisons of different types of universes. Some repetition between different chapters, and several opportunities to get lost or confused, but overall a highly recommended read.

Jun 24, 2012
  • rburnet94 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A little hard to grasp at first, and a bit of a dragger, but in the end an eye opener for science laypeople, and an all around decent read. His concept of nothing isn't actually nothing at all, but empty space, pure geometry. His argument for creation ex nihilo comes from the fact that in a complete vacuum, virtual particles pop in and out of existence from nothing, since their net energy during that miniscule time-frame of existence is zero, and that the entire universe can come into existence, so long as its net energy is zero (much like those virtual particles). That's all he really needed to say, but instead he goes on about forgetful concepts and explanations that just make reading the book quite a drag. Although the science behind the book and philosophical implications of what he writes makes the book a decent read, despite the apparent babbling.

The point of interest is the almost assured and well reasoned notion that the universe is flat. Matter out of nothing is not so new. This is where Mr. Krauss drfts out into deep waters. It appears from his sophomoric discussions about being and nothingness that Mr. Krauss has yet to discover that theologians and philosophers have been debating these concepts for centuries. However, he thinks he found the answer but misses the question which leads
me to ponder what the true point of his book may be. I actually understand the books underlying message, the ludicrous but incessant drive in today's scientific community lead by the English Dawkins to disprove the existence of God. When did science become the study to disprove God? If this English propagated scientific crusade against God continues it will sweep away the historic true endeavors of science to discover the unknown. God is known, why the hysterical efforts to disprove a faith with reason. I don't know why this Dawkins holds such a sway in the scientific community but this will not turn out well. The man is a flake but in a very scary sence because his hypnotic grip on his minions . Science has no business in faith. If true science is to discover and prove factual observations then stay out of religion.

Nothing x Nobody = Everything

Bah, humbug.
A lot of hot air about nothing at all.
But the author thinks he is a genius.
A lot of self serving grandeur here.
No doubt he will nominate himself for a Nobel Prize.

Feb 02, 2012
  • roaddogg09 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Lawrence Krauss has done everyone a great service by writing this book. Krauss, in "A Universe from Nothing," explains our current picture of the cosmos: where it came from and where it is going. Although he covers a lot of ground, the book is fairly simple to read, though if you haven't read anything on cosmology, this book may be a bit daunting. If this is your first book on cosmology/physics, I'd recommend reading "The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory" first, so you can get an idea for the general concepts.

My favorite section of the book is when Krauss explains the existence of virtual particles. Virtual particles, which are particles that don't actually exist, contribute energy, and therefore mass, to particles. The mass comes about from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. There are two equations, but the one that we are interested in says any uncertainty regarding the amount of energy possessed by a particle and time (of duration) of that possession has to be equal or greater than Planck's Constant (h/2*pi). Shorter the time of possession is more energy these particles can possess and don't forget that according to Einstein (E=mc^2) energy is also mass. Krauss then extends this to empty space itself, which means empty space can have mass, and via general relativity, contribute a negative energy to space, causing it to expand (and explanation for dark energy?).

Some people have said that Krauss is "arrogant," claiming that he has "all the answers." This is far from the truth. As is apparent throughout the book, Krauss lets the reader know when things are speculations or uncertain. That's what made this a great read: even though we know a lot about the universe, there are many things we don't know, and that's something beautiful. It gives us something to ponder and search for the answers.

One thing that could be improved is possibly explaining the concepts a bit more (as described above) and including the actual equations so we can get a feel of what's going on. Even though Krauss says what the equations are, he writes them out, which could be hard to keep track of if you don't write it down.

For anyone interested in what we currently know about the cosmos, and what we do not, I highly recommend Krauss' book.

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app08 Version sidamo (sidamo) Last updated 2014/09/17 15:16