The Grand Design

(co-authored with Stephen Hawking)

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How can we understand the world in which we find ourselves? Over twenty years ago Stephen Hawking wrote A Brief History of Time, to try to explain where the universe came from, and where it is going. But that book left some important questions unanswered. Why is there a universe–why is there something rather than nothing? Why do we exist? Why are the laws of nature what they are? Did the universe need a designer and creator? In this startling and lavishly illustrated book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about these and other abiding mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by brilliance and simplicity.

Author Leonard Mlodinow -The Grand DesignIt was Einstein’s dream to discover the grand design of the universe, a single theory that explains everything. However, physicists in Einstein’s day hadn’t made enough progress in understanding the forces of nature for that to be a realistic goal. In recent years the development of M-theory, the top-down approach to cosmology, and new observations such as those made by satellites like NASA’s COBE and WMAP, have brought us closer than ever to that single theory, and to being able to answer those deepest of questions. And so Hawking and Mlodinow and set out to write a sequel to A Brief History of Time to attempt to answer the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. The result is The Grand Design, the product of a four-year effort.

In The Grand Design the authors explain why, 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. They question the conventional concept of reality, discuss how the laws of our particular universe are extraordinarily finely tuned so as to allow for our existence, and show 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.