A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

  • January 11 · 5:00 PM

by Lawrence M. Krauss (2013)

• Hardcover

• Paperback

• eBook

• Audiobook

Fairfax Library System

Reviews (Amazon)

"In A Universe from Nothing, Lawrence Krauss has written a thrilling introduction to the current state of cosmology—the branch of science that tells us about the deep past and deeper future of everything. As it turns out, everything has a lot to do with nothing—and nothing to do with God. This is a brilliant and disarming book."—Sam Harris, author of The Moral Landscape

"Astronomers at the beginning of the twentieth century were wondering whether there was anything beyond our Milky Way Galaxy. As Lawrence Krauss lucidly explains, astronomers living two trillion years from now, will perhaps be pondering precisely the same question! Beautifully navigating through deep intellectual waters, Krauss presents the most recent ideas on the nature of our cosmos, and of our place within it. A fascinating read."—Mario Livio, author of Is God A Mathematician? and The Golden Ratio

"In this clear and crisply written book, Lawrence Krauss outlines the compelling evidence that our complex cosmos has evolved from a hot, dense state and how this progress has emboldened theorists to develop fascinating speculations about how things really began."—Martin Rees, author of Our Final Hour

“A series of brilliant insights and astonishing discoveries have rocked the Universe in recent years, and Lawrence Krauss has been in the thick of it. With his characteristic verve, and using many clever devices, he’s made that remarkable story remarkably accessible. The climax is a bold scientific answer to the great question of existence: Why is there something rather than nothing.”—Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate and Herman Feshbach professor at MIT, author of The Lightness of Being

"With characteristic wit, eloquence and clarity Lawrence Krauss gives a wonderfully illuminating account of how science deals with one of the biggest questions of all: how the universe's existence could arise from nothing. It is a question that philosophy and theology get themselves into muddle over, but that science can offer real answers to, as Krauss's lucid explanation shows. Here is the triumph of physics over metaphysics, reason and enquiry over obfuscation and myth, made plain for all to see: Krauss gives us a treat as well as an education in fascinating style."—A. C. Grayling, author of The Good Book

"We have been living through a revolution in cosmology as wondrous as that initiated by Copernicus. Here is the essential, engrossing and brilliant guide."—Ian McEwan

“Nothing is not nothing. Nothing is something. That's how a cosmos can be spawned from the void — a profound idea conveyed in A Universe From Nothing that unsettles some yet enlightens others. Meanwhile, it's just another day on the job for physicist Lawrence Krauss.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History

"Lively and humorous as well as informative… As compelling as it is intriguing.” (Publishers Weekly)

“[An] excellent guide to cutting-edge physics… It is detailed but lucid, thorough but not stodgy… [an] insightful book… Space and time can indeed come from nothing; nothing, as Krauss explains beautifully. …A Universe From Nothing is a great book: readable, informative and topical.” (New Scientist)

"Krauss possesses a rare talent for making the hardest ideas in astrophysics accessible to the layman, due in part to his sly humor… one has to hope that this book won't appeal only to the partisans of the culture wars – it's just too good and interesting for that. Krauss is genuinely in awe of the "wondrously strange" nature of our physical world, and his enthusiasm is infectious.” (San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, AP)

“How physicists came up with the current model of the cosmos is quite a story, and to tell it in his elegant A Universe From Nothing, physicist Lawrence Krauss walks a carefully laid path… It would be easy for this remarkable story to revel in self-congratulation, but Krauss steers it soberly and with grace… His asides on how he views each piece of science and its chances of being right are refreshingly honest…unstable nothingness, as described by Krauss… is also invigorating for the rest of us, because in this nothingness there are many wonderful things to see and understand.” (Nature)

"In A Universe From Nothing, Lawrence Krauss, celebrated physicist, speaker and author, tackles all that plus a whole lot else. In fewer than 200 pages, he delivers a spirited, fast-paced romp through modern cosmology and its strong underpinnings in astronomical observations and particle physics theory.Krauss’s slim volume is bolder in its premise and more ambitious in its scope than most. He makes a persuasive case that the ultimate question of cosmic origin – how something, namely the universe, could arise from nothing – belongs in the realm of science rather than theology or philosophy." (Globe & Mail)

“An eloquent guide to our expanding universe… There have been a number of fine cosmology books published recently but few have gone so far, and none so eloquently, in exploring why it is unnecessary to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper and set the universe in motion.” (Financial Times)

"His arguments for the birth of the universe out of nothingness from a physical, rather than theological, beginning not only are logical but celebrate the wonder of our natural universe. Recommended." (Library Journal)

“Krauss possesses a rare talent for making the hardest ideas in astrophysics accessible to the layman, due in part to his sly humor… one has to hope that this book won't appeal only to the partisans of the culture wars – it's just too good and interesting for that. Krauss is genuinely in awe of the "wondrously strange" nature of our physical world, and his enthusiasm is infectious.” (Associated Press)

"With its mind-bending mechanics, Krauss argues, our universe may indeed have appeared from nowhere, rather than at the hands of a divine creator. There's some intellectual heavy lifting here—Einstein is the main character, after all—but the concepts are articulated clearly, and the thrill of discovery is contagious. 'We are like the early terrestrial mapmakers,' Krauss writes, puzzling out what was once solely the province of our imaginations." (Mother Jones)

"The author delivers plenty of jolts in this enthusiastic and lucid but demanding overview of the universe, which includes plenty of mysteries—but its origin isn’t among them. A thoughtful, challenging book." (Kirkus)

"People always say you can't get something from nothing. Thankfully, Lawrence Krauss didn't listen. In fact, something big happens to you during this book about cosmic nothing, and before you can help it, your mind will be expanding as rapidly as the early universe."—Sam Kean (author of The Disappearing Spoon)

"A very interesting read from a foremost physicist of our time." (Santa Barbara Independent)

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  • Jeffrey C. J.

    I have the Flu so probably won't make it Sunday; Arlene's in charge.

    January 9

    • Dee

      Get well soon and kudos for facilitating so successfully even on Skype.

      1 · January 12

    • Jeffrey C. J.

      Thank you Dee. The timing sucked but Bert and Arlene were so helpful I couldn't not have made it work without folks like them and people like you! So sorry about the evangelist. There're all over the place and it's one of the reasons Europeans sometimes are annoyed with us and Chinese sometimes suspect us and no matter how you feel the risks those LDS and Witnesses take in some parts of Africa makes me sympathize dearly even if I think faith is a personal experience we all must find on our own.

      1 · January 15

  • Julia

    I got sick last night and am just now waking up. I'm not up for driving to Virginia, sorry :(

    January 11

    • Jeffrey C. J.

      I suppose you could have skyped in like me; but either way rest up and let your body heal.

      January 11

  • Bert H.

    Nice to see you all this evening. Thanks for the stimulating discussion. I was asked to give a reference to the excellent lectures by Neil DeGrasse Tyson on cosmology. It is published by the Teaching Company under the imprint, The Great Courses. The title is "The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries." I found it on Audible.com. I found it extremely well done deeply educational and fun to listen to.

    1 · January 11

  • Julia

    I have plans already but I think I'm going to try to read along. Dawkins is a brilliant scientist, but when we read some excerpts of his work in my Science and Theology class, his attitude kind of undermined his arguments. I'll be interested to see how I like this book.

    1 · November 8

    • Arlene K.

      Dawkins has a bad attitude and he is very upper crust British -- ooften a real turn off. But he is brilliant and I most agree with him but can't stand the guy. Krauss is delightful.

      1 · January 11

    • Jeffrey C. J.

      Lady Sarah Ward is his wife, that is his nobility and she's a Time Lady so okay by me!

      January 11

  • Arlene K.

    Happy to open up the meeting. But after that I need the rest of you lead the discussion. Loved the book and was able to grasp the broad concepts. Interested in what you science people have to say. I'm mostly going to listen.

    1 · January 11

  • Jeffrey C. J.

    As I told Burt, if someone wants to Skype me into the meeting I'm happy to attend remotely and non-infectiously. My handle is TimeHorseOnSkype.

    1 · January 11

  • A former member
    A former member

    I see that the Fairax County Public Library has 5 copies of this book & have reviewed it briefly so far. I am not sure how "Krauss" defines "Nothing". Is his definition same as other theoretical physics still alive today who are exploring the frontiers of Dark Matter & Dark Energy ?

    1 · December 31

    • Jeffrey C. J.

      Throughout the book he defines it from Empty to a Gödel Null Set. He progresses from empty like an empty room to the empty like the Hole Ringo found in the bottom of the sea to the true empty like no space or time which is like the empty discussed in the last chapter of Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality: http://www.meetup.com...­ . Okay, maybe there aren't any Blue Meanies involved in the book but the point is he uses multiple definitions of Nothing including an Unstoppable Nothing or as the editor didn't like that title an Unstoppable Annihilation.

      December 31

  • Jeffrey C. J.

    We did Dawkins last month so what better way to start this month with Dawkins introducing Krauss. If you've not time to read the book (and it's a shorter one, finally), or if you're just curious, then see the lecture that inspired the book.

    December 15

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