Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Grand Design

Author:         Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow
Published:   2010
Publisher:    Bantam Press
Hardcover: 208  pages

This  book is a sort of sequel to Stephen Hawking's classic best seller A Brief History of Time. This time the renowned physicist Hawking teams up with another famous physicist and author Leonard Mlodinow. The book attempts to unanswered questions in "A Brief History of Time".
Questions like - Why is there a universe--why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why are the laws of nature are what they are? Did the universe need a designer and creator?

The authors explain how as per quantum theory there are multiple instances of universe existing simultaneously. Also these universes have not just one but every possible history. 
They question the conventional concept of an objective reality and propose a "model-dependent" theory of reality. 

The book describes how the laws of  the universe we live in are extraordinarily finely tuned to create an environment conducive  to our existence, and shows why 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. 

The authors then conclude that  M-Theory which explains  the laws governing the multiverse, is the only viable candidate for a complete "theory of everything." 

I have read many books which attempt to demystify the esoteric areas of modern physics and cosmology. But I must admit that I am yet to get a complete hang of the subject. Either I am incapable of digesting the stuff or the inherent nature of the subject itself is not amenable to easy explanation. Whatever the case may be, my experience with  this book was no different. 

Initial few pages were quite easy to grasp but things starts getting confusing as I approached the half-way-mark. However it is perhaps better than many of the other books I have read in this genre. Small doses of humor sprinkled and lavish illustrations in myriad colors provide much needed relief to the readers.

Overall a good book to read . I rate it 3.5 in the scale of 5.
Some readers with higher IQ than me may enjoy it much more than I did !
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