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The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking

The Grand Design (original 2010; edition 2012)

by Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow

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1,875843,682 (3.67)39
Title:The Grand Design
Authors:Stephen Hawking
Other authors:Leonard Mlodinow
Info:Bantam (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:non-fiction, universe, physics, astronomy, philosophy

Work details

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking (2010)

  1. 10
    Aristotle Leads the Way by Joy Hakim (themulhern)
    themulhern: "Aristotle Leads the Way" has a more objective discussion of Greek scientific thought along with lots of great pictures.
  2. 00
    The Inflationary Universe by Alan Guth (Limelite)
    Limelite: A lot more of the physics, but also exceptionally clear and graspable.
  3. 11
    The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene (j_aroche)
  4. 12
    The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene (XOX)
  5. 03
    How Real Is Real? by Paul Watzlawick (paradoxosalpha)

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» See also 39 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
Not good at all really ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
Too light-weight; I was able to read this in a few hours total. I was hoping for something more... detailed, I guess. I realize the math is beyond any mere dilettante, but this book was *very* high level. ( )
  dcunning11235 | Oct 17, 2016 |
Forgettable to the point that if I hadn't written it down in my book ledger I wouldn't even know I read it. I had to look at the book description to spark my memories.

Essentially, this is about the forces that rule the universe and the quests to create a grand unifying theory of everything.

It only gave the slightest depth to each concept and really wasn't half as good as the Brief History of the Universe books. ( )
  benuathanasia | Sep 10, 2016 |
Not very informative. There could have been more detail with in depth explanations of the theories. ( )
  Cal_Clapp | Sep 5, 2016 |
Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow describe our current understanding of physics - general and special relativity, gravity, quantum theory, Feynman's sum over histories - in a relatively brief (under 200 pages) and accessible way for the layman, using tons of visuals and often humorous analogies.

I never took high school physics or calculus so while I can't understand the math, I occasionally read science books intended for folks like me that simply blow my mind with what we know and don't know about the universe we live in. The first half of the book was pretty basic and covered ground I already knew from other books I've read. Much of the book describes what we know of "the grand design" of the universe, both arguing for a theory or network of theories ("M-theory") that will one day better describe our universe and that we could mathematically and scientifically come up with a theory that will not have a need for a designer, that is God. Their theory, from what I understand - and this was the part that got a little dicey for me, I admit - argues that much like the earth is not the center of the universe nor even a particularly unique planet orbiting a star, so our universe may end up being only one of millions upon millions of universes that would all be spontaneously created and simultaneously operate with different laws of nature. I'm not sure that would ever personally satisfy me with how something could come from nothing - and as I said, I'm not conversant in the math that models this - but I enjoy stretching my brain cells nonetheless. ( )
  bell7 | Jul 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
It is all entertaining stuff, skilfully assembled and described in a fairly droll manner. The wave-particle duality of particles is described as being as foreign as drinking a chunk of sandstone, for example. The book is also commendably brief and by and large illuminating about the complexities of modern cosmology.
It is all entertaining stuff, skilfully assembled and described in a fairly droll manner. The wave-particle duality of particles is described as being as foreign as drinking a chunk of sandstone, for example. The book is also commendably brief and by and large illuminating about the complexities of modern cosmology.

So read it to understand the universe. But if it is God you are after, my advice is to steer clear.
The real news about “The Grand Design,” however, isn’t Mr. Hawking’s supposed jettisoning of God, information that will surprise no one who has followed his work closely. The real news about “The Grand Design” is how disappointingly tinny and inelegant it is. The spare and earnest voice that Mr. Hawking employed with such appeal in “A Brief History of Time” has been replaced here by one that is alternately condescending, as if he were Mr. Rogers explaining rain clouds to toddlers, and impenetrable.

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Hawkingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mlodinow, Leonardsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bollinger, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, SidneyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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We each exist for but a short time, and in that time explore but a small part of the whole universe.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In the last thirty years of his life Albert Einstein searched for a unified theory - a theory which could describe all the forces of nature in a single framework. But the time was not right for such a discovery in Einstein's day. Neither was the time right when, in 1988, Professor Stephen Hawking wrote A Brief History of Time in which he took us on a journey through classical physics, Einstein's theory of relativity, quantum physics and string theory in order to explain the universe that we live in. He concluded, like Einstein, that science may soon arrive at the long sought after 'Theory of Everything'. In this ground-breaking new work, Professor Hawking and renowned science writer Leonard Mlodinow have drawn on forty years of Hawking's own research and a recent series of extraordinary astronomical observations and theoretical breakthroughs to reveal an original and controversial theory. They convincingly argue that scientific obsession with formulating a single new model may be misplaced, and that, instead, by synthesising existing theories we may discover the key to finally understanding the universe's deepest mysteries. Written with the clarity and lively style for which Hawking is famous, The Grand Design is an account of Hawking's quest to fuse these different strands of scientific theory. It examines the differences between past and future, explains the nature of reality and asks an all-important question: How far can we go in our search for understanding and knowledge?
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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 some other?--and explains that scientists are approaching what is called "M-theory," a collection of overlapping theories (including string theory) that fill in many (but not all) the blank spots in quantum physics; this collection is known as the "Grand Unified Field Theories."… (more)

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