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

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  10,642 ratings  ·  618 reviews
WHERE DID THE UNIVERSE COME FROM? WHAT WAS THERE BEFORE IT? WHAT WILL THE FUTURE BRING? AND FINALLY, WHY IS THERE SOMETHING RATHER THAN NOTHING?

Lawrence Krauss' provocative answers to these and other timeless questions in a wildly popular lecture now on YouTube have attracted almost a million viewers. The last of these questions in particular has been at the center of rel
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Hardcover, 204 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Atria Books (first published 2012)
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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonA Brief History of Time by Stephen HawkingCosmos by Carl SaganThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Riku Sayuj
Mar 09, 2014 Riku Sayuj rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Manjunath Muddaraju

Krauss has managed to draw an almost perfect normal curve (Bell Curve) with this book as far as engagement and content is concerned.

The Start of the Curve

It starts slow by promising us a full whirlwind historic tour from Galileo to CMBR and beyond and takes its own sweet time getting to even Einstein and then dwells on the most known aspects of modern science as if no one has heard of all that before.

The Rise

Then as I was contemplating postponing the book for some future date, Krauss suddenly
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Manny
Sep 24, 2014 Manny rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in Big Questions
Point/Counterpoint

A Nice Brief Account Of The Inflation/Ω/Dark Energy Thread

Krauss, who was personally involved in some of the work and knows all the key actors, does a fine job of summarising progress in cosmology over the last fifteen years. The most significant development, needless to say, has been the discovery of Dark Energy. Krauss presents the background and shows why it wasn't quite as unexpected as has often been made out; he was one of the few people to have predicted it, though it so
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Greg
One thing is certain, however. The metaphysical 'rule', which is held as an ironclad conviction by those whom I have debated the issue of creation, namely that "out of nothing nothing comes," has no foundation in science. Arguing that it is self-evident, unwavering, and unassailable is like arguing, as Darwin falsely did, when he made the suggestion that the origin of life was beyond the domain of science by building an analogy with the incorrect claim that matter cannot be created or destroyed. ...more
Brendon Schrodinger
I guess everyone could have predicted that I would give this book 5 stars, if not at least agree with it's theories. Being a forthright atheist and scientist I was bound to love this book right? Well that argument could be made, but I refer you to my ratings for other atheist works such as "The God Delusion", which I must admit deserves a reread and possibly an updated higher score in retrospect, and Hitchens' "God is Not Great" which I thought was relatively poorly argued due to being essential ...more
Book
If you like my review please don't hesitate to like my amazon review too. I appreciate it...it's a wonderful book.


A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss

“A Universe from Nothing" is the fascinating book about how are universe came from nothing. Using the latest in scientific knowledge, his expertise and the innate ability to explain very complex topics in accessible manner earns this book five stars. Lawrence Krauss takes us on an exciting voyage of discovery that helps us understand the u
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Eliot
Pretty thin, frequently screedy. Although I would not describe myself as a believer, I was nevertheless irritated by how facile and smug his frequent digs at believers in a "prime mover," "first cause," God, etc., were. If the history of science teaches us anything, it is that the current state of theoretical physics will one day look as antiquated as Newtonian physics does post-Einstein, or Aristotelian cosmology does post-Copernicus. When discussing the current state of our scientific knowledg ...more
Carlo
2.5 Stars

The idea of a an Unmoved Mover or better still a First Cause is fascinating. Just to think that everything has a cause(s) which itself has a cause(s) takes one to a journey backward which we may well be ill equipped to take. This book didn't do much in that domain however, but it rather explained our recent understanding of the cosmos and how from "nothingness" (though with quantum fluctuation which makes the whole idea of Krauss' "nothingness" problematic) a whole universe can come int
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David
Oct 02, 2013 David rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to David by: Gendou
Shelves: astronomy, science
This is a short, entertaining and informative book, written by a leading cosmologist. Lawrence Krauss describes, step by step, the observational evidence for the expansion of the universe, the existence of dark matter, and dark energy. He clearly describes the differences between a closed, open, and a flat universe, and shows the the reasons why we probably live in a flat universe. I had never understood before reading his explanation, how the spatial scales of variability of the cosmic microwav ...more
Becky
3.5 Stars:
Yeah. So. I read this. Or, rather, I listened to it. Which, in hindsight, may not have been the best choice. *insert forced/awkward laugh here* You see, this is not what I expected at all. Well, I take that back. This was what I expected, but the ratios were quite a lot different than I expected. (You know, that whole 'reading summaries' thing I don't do? Probably would have helped there.)

My point is that, had I done some research and maybe found out what this book actually was going
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BetseaK
This book failed short of my expectations. The subject was interesting but its exposition lacked clarity due to inconsistencies of all kinds. Regarding the semantic ones, allow me to paraphrase the author: There is no such thing as 'nothing' because 'nothing' is 'something', namely 'nothing' is 'empty space' that is not really empty but 'a boling brew of virtual particles that we cannot see directly'. And, though nothing can travel faster than c, about 70% of that seemingly empty space, termed a ...more
Simcha Wood
Lawrence Krauss's A Universe from Nothing appears to have been done a serious disservice by the author, the editor, or both in that what would otherwise be a decent enough (though not particularly groundbreaking) work of popular science has been press-ganged into the tired ranks of writings on the God Wars. While I haven't yet read a book from either side of this debate that adds anything really worthwhile to a discussion which is largely sophmoric and whose actors seem to spend most of their ti ...more
Clif Hostetler
This book pauses with sufficient frequency during its romp through science from particle physics to astrophysics to take pokes at theistic religion to make it clear that the author's intention is to cast a shot across the bow of "God of the gaps" thinking which seeks refuge in the question, "Why there is something rather than nothing." The author explains that phenomenal progress has been made in the past century that has brought us to the cusp of operationally addressing questions regarding ori ...more
Diana
I really enjoyed this book for a couple of reasons:

1) Krauss is one of those rare personalities that excel both in science (his successes are well documented) and teaching and by teaching I mean in a seductive (a word Krauss has used and you'll see how his language in the book can be seductive and almost flirty at times), entertaining way. This is something the world desperately needs as we seem to have slipped back as a society (even in places once much more rational like the United States) th
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Duff
As a non-scientist, I found many moments of "oh, that is what I didn't quite understand" from previous reading in physics and cosmology. That said, there were also times when I simply did not quite understand the complexities that Krauss was explicating. It was a book that I was sad to finish...really liked it. He takes us on a clear, guided journey around the issues of "nothing"...that which we cannot see in the universe, but through the laws of physics and math is actually measurable, in a the ...more
Shaun
I actually listened to the audio version of this book, narrated by Krauss.

I'd be less than honest if I didn't admit that some of this went over my head, but then again, I haven't devoted my life to the study of physics and the cosmos. That said, I think I can appreciate the basic points being made.

Krauss not only presents a sound and compelling case for the Big Bang Theory, but he also explains how something really can come from nothing (which is really something, btw), a concept that makes my
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Shaun
"Universe From Nothing" is a thought-provoking book, detailing how science has went about discovering the origins of the universe.
Krauss' subject matter is derived from the observable experiments and Data supporting the theory that the universe was created due to the big bang, which itself arose out of a state of rapid quantum fluctuations - from nothing.
Along with educating the reader on how the rigorous testing of evidence supports the theory that the universe sprang from nothing, Krauss fi
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Tanja Berg
This book surprised me with its readability. I didn't feel like I was an average 5th grader taking a university course in physics ALL the time, although I do admit that somethings were above my head. If I ever want to learn anything outside of my current capability, obviously it's not going to come easy. This was very accessible though.

"Quantum fluctuations, which otherwise would have been completely invisible, get frozen by inflation and emergy afterward as density fluctuations that produce eve
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Blarg
Jul 05, 2012 Blarg added it
This book was unexpectedly disappointing. As a non-scientist who reads extensively about cosmology, particle physics, and quantum mechanics, I wasn’t surprised that the author spent the first 142 pages of his book rehashing what we know so far about the formation and evolution of our universe and its component structures. Some of the information is quite recent, and I expected the foundational knowledge to be important to understanding the argument and evidence that would presumably follow.

Unfor
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Ronald
Like poetry, an abstruse scientific work need not be fully comprehended to enjoy it. This somewhat arcane audio book, well read by its author, theoretical physicist & cosmologist Larry Krauss, sheds just enough familiar photons to guide the layman through the maze of dark matter, quantum fluctuation, event horizons, and The Singularity.

I was especially keen on Dr. Krauss's discussion of the philosophical implications of evidenced-based findings about the expanding universe... no gods requir
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Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime)
I found this book very frustrating.

In the first place, Krauss spends far too much time God-bashing, instead of just sticking to the science. Fine, he doesn't believe that God created the universe, but there's absolutely no good reason to even bring it into a discussion of how our universe has been created from nothing.

In any case, ultimately, his arguments seem no better than a belief in a supreme being as creator. Krauss waves his hands and tells us that most of the universe consists of "Dark
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Jerry
I found this book rather disappointing. It does shed some light on the promised question of why the universe exists, but very little. I found his writing not nearly as good as that of Brian Greene. Krauss seems to have an inflated ego that intrudes into the narrative all too often.

One of the things I found most annoying is that he repeatedly and foolishly wandered off his scientific discourse into a discussion on theology where he attempts to show that there is no room for God in creation. I fou
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jeremy
lawrence krauss' new book, a universe from nothing: why there is something rather than nothing, summarizes the continuing developments in the field of cosmology. in addition to championing these new insights in the study of modern physics, krauss also frames these advances in the appropriate context of their resulting implications for theologians and deists. adapted from a lecture he delivered at the 2009 atheist alliance international annual convention (and made popular on youtube), a universe ...more
Jafar
If you’re looking for free lunch, think big. The universe itself may be the ultimate free lunch.

From a scientific point of view, this book is along the same lines as The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking. To summarize the book in two sentences: “In quantum gravity, universes can, and indeed always will, spontaneously appear from nothing. Such universes need not be empty, but can have matter and radiation in them, as long as the total energy, including the negative energy associated with gravity, i
...more
brian
the baked-in problem is that this explanation of how 'something' can emerge from 'nothing' must accept that 'nothing' operates by laws of quantum gravity. is this truly 'nothing'? shit, i dunno. krauss touches on this as admirably as possible. but i guess i should also throw quotations around 'possible', eh? and there's the problem.
Gendou
Krauss comes out swinging, calling theism morally bankrupt, and poo-pooing "first cause" as a cop out.

The first half of the book is a very good explanations for lay or studied person.

Later on, though, the author beats his thesis like a dead horse with a floppy philosophy stick.
I got really tired of hearing the phrase "something from nothing".

I was curious why he insists space is precisely flat.
Experiments like BOOMERanG show it is very nearly flat.
But then again, the gravitational constant is ve
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David
Krauss's big idea in "A Universe from Nothing" is that starting with only space-time and all the laws of physics (e.g. quantum mechanics and general relativity), our universe can be accounted for. He refers to such a starting point as "nothing" (a nothing that I believe to be far removed from non-existence). This book is his attempt to neuter "ex nihilo nihil fit" as an argument for theism. As a Christian, I'm unsympathetic to Krauss's clear anti-theistic agenda and the biases that come along wi ...more
Lo
I would like to first that Lawrence Krauss is a very intelligent man and that I have a lot of respect for him as an author, scientist, and intellectual.
Secondly, this book was somewhat an enigma to me (bear with me for a few before marking me as a English major with little science background). I went into reading this book with my own well formed bias and skepticism towards the subject matter - can something can from nothing? Why this book is an enigma is that Krauss wants to support his argum
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Misha
"სამყარო არაფრისგან" ფიზიკოს ლოურენს კრაუსის ცნობილი ლექციის მიხედვით შექმნილი წიგნია, კრაუსი პოპულარულ ლექციას განავცრცობს და წარმოგვიდგენს სამყაროს შექმნის, წარმოშობის მეცნიერულ მოდელს. რის მიხედვითაც პრინციპში შესაძლებელია სამყარო წარმოშობილიყო არაფრისგან. "არაფერი" ძალიან ბევრს აინტრიგებს. "არაფერი" პუბლიკას შოკში აგდებს და კიდევ უფრო მეტ კითხვას უჩენს. როგორ შეიძლება სამყარო არაფრისგან წარმოშობილიყო? ეს არარეალურია, მაგრამ როგორც კრაუსი იტყოდა, კვანტური მექანიკაში შემიძლია არაფრისგან მივიღო ...more
James Kane
Originally published just under a year ago, Lawrence Krauss' A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing (2012) grapples with one of the oldest and most complex questions confronting scientists, philosophers and theologians everywhere: is it possible for something to come from nothing? Drawing on key developments in modern physics, several of which are indebted to his own research and published scholarship, Krauss argues and demonstrates that, contrary to common belief, o ...more
John
I listened to the audio book while playing some super nintendo, but I can't really remember most of it or what the argument is. I did learn some new jargon, and hopefully it will be useful in the future when I talk to the group of scientists that is my entourage. But seriously. Basically he says that there was nothing and there will be nothing again, because nothingness is unstable and anti-matter produces matter. And math says so. Something along those lines. Well, I'm convinced. Now we know th ...more
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Christian Apologe...: A Universe From Nothing 46 25 Mar 26, 2014 08:17PM  
Science and Inquiry: October 2013 - A Universe From Nothing 24 113 Dec 21, 2013 11:08AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please combine editions 2 12 Nov 17, 2013 12:24PM  
Updated comprehension... 1 50 Jul 22, 2012 06:37PM  
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  • Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World
  • Climbing Mount Improbable
  • The Inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Origins
  • The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
  • Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe
  • The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe
  • The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
  • The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics (Theoretical Minimum #1)
  • Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution
  • Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
  • The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World
  • Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax"
  • The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths
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Prof. Lawrence M. Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He has investigated questions ranging from the nature of exploding stars to issues of the origin of a ...more
More about Lawrence M. Krauss...
The Physics of Star Trek Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science Beyond Star Trek: From Alien Invasions to the End of Time Atom: An Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions, from Plato to String Theory and Beyond

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“The amazing thing is that every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements - the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution - weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.” 112 likes
“In 5 billion years, the expansion of the universe will have progressed to the point where all other galaxies will have receded beyond detection. Indeed, they will be receding faster than the speed of light, so detection will be impossible. Future civilizations will discover science and all its laws, and never know about other galaxies or the cosmic background radiation. They will inevitably come to the wrong conclusion about the universe......We live in a special time, the only time, where we can observationally verify that we live in a special time.” 50 likes
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