A Universe From Nothing

Why is there something rather than nothing? Why does the universe exist? That is the question that Lawrence Krauss aims to tackle in his book “A Universe From Nothing”. I first heard him speak at QED and very much enjoyed his book The Physics of Star Trek. This one promised to be almost as good.

I found it sufficiently accessible. Some of it was a bit too clever for me. Sentences such as “when you think about it, x doesn’t make any sense…” I could have thought about some of those problems for a long time and not seen the flaw. However, for the most part it is entirely readable and Krauss is a solid communicator of his ideas.

Given how fast physics is moving, some of the content in this book could soon be out of date. However, for now it is a clear and concise overview of where we are with our understanding of the origin of the universe. There are some fascinating insights. For example, we live at a time when the Big Bang is detectable and we can see we are part of a huge universe. In two trillion years, that will not be the case. All signs of it will have disappeared. Ours is the golden age of cosmology, because the universe is only 13.8 billion years old.

I did not feel it needed some much commentary on religion. There was no religion-bashing, but there was a lot of “which is why the universe must clearly be billions of years old and so scripture must be wrong”. Perhaps this is required this is more relevant for other audiences, but from my perspective, it felt like everyone who was going to read the book would know that already.

Overall I found the book accessible and enjoyable, as well as re-igniting that feeling of excitement about physics.




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This entry was posted on Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 10:58 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.