The Grand Design
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The Grand Design

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  24,441 ratings  ·  1,279 reviews
THE FIRST MAJOR WORK IN NEARLY A DECADE BY ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT THINKERS—A MARVELOUSLY CONCISE BOOK WITH NEW ANSWERS TO THE ULTIMATE QUESTIONS OF LIFE

When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the nature of reality? Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like ours...more
CD-ROM, Abridged, 4 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Random House Audio (first published 2010)
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Cindy
It's a funny thing being a cosmologist in the greater Los Angeles area. Back when I was a partying single graduate student, I'd frequently hit the town for some fun. Inevitably I'd meet someone, strike up a conversation, and they might ask me what I did for a living.

"Oh, I'm a cosmologist."
"Cosmetologist? Cool, do you do make-up for movies?"
"Um...not unless rouge is a component of dark matter." (ba-da-bum)
"..."
"I make detectors and use them to study the origins and geometry of our universe."
"...more
Kemper
When this book was released, I was reading a story about it on-line, and the headline said something like: “Stephen Hawking Says There Is No God”. Then I made the critical mistake of looking at the user comments under the story. It was the usual collection of badly spelled notes from ignorant asshats who tried to say that stupid science didn’t know nuthin’ or that it was all Obama’s fault.

But one in particular caught my eye. It was by someone who undoubtedly dabbles in both neurosurgery and roc...more
Marvin
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Stephen Hawking is smarter than I am. That's no big feat because two of my cats are smarter than I am. The other cat is a certifiable idiot. But Hawking is way smarter than I am. The Grand Design is Hawking's explanation, more or less, about why the universe is the way it is. The answer comes down to M-theory which is more of a combining of explanations than one single unifying theory. Many reviewers seem to think Hawking is saying there is no God but he really seems to be stating that God is i...more
Manny
Look John look!
See the pop science bestseller.
See the glossy paper.
See the large font.
See the wide margins.
See the world-famous physicist.
See the ghostwriter.

See the double slit experiment!
Maybe you have seen it before.
But you can never see the double slit experiment too many times.
See the theory of everything.
It is free of infinities.
Probably.
Anyway, never mind that.

See the quantum multiverse!
See the strong anthropic principle.
See them explain the mystery of being.
They are science.
They make pre...more
Jafar
I have a feeling that the publishing industry is milking Stephen Hawking. There was a time when we had a dashing physicist named Richard Feynman who used LSD and played banjo in a strip club. The naked pole dancers didn’t distract him from formulating quantum electrodynamics. He was quite a genius, and he was all over the place with his talks and popular books. But he’s dead. Now Stephen Hawking seems to be the coolest physicist around. He’s paralyzed and wheelchair-bound, and he speaks through...more
Riku Sayuj
In the first chapter Hawking says that his aim is to provide an answer to "Life, Universe and Everything" and goes on to assure us that his answer will not merely be "42". After just completing the last chapter, I think I still prefer "42".
Jason

Wake me up when you actually define M-Theory.
(Which has yet to be defined)

This was a short read that cost WAY TOO MUCH money.

Any book I can read in a day should cost less than 9 dollars.
Elise
After reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos, I felt that I might finally be ready for my first Hawking book. There were a couple of sections that I re-read, in an attempt to make concrete some of the more abstract aspects of m-theory. Despite my rudimentary understanding of quantum physics, I still gleaned a great deal from this book and would recommend it to anyone who is even mildly curious. Those who have a more advanced educati...more
James
Note: I'm a physicist, so my experience reading this was colored by my training.

Hawking and Mlodinow begin by declaring, on the very first page, that "philosophy is dead," and that modern science alone must carry our search for knowledge into the future. Several pages later, they launch into a purely philosophical discussion on the nature of reality and discovery. Dead, indeed. In my opinion, this accurately colors the entire book, and if you can't stomach this kind of hard-and-fast science for...more
Julia
I own several of Hawking's books, and so I was drawn to this thin volume. Obviously his co-author did most of the work, since Hawking's health continues to deteriorate. Mlodinow is a physicist at Caltech and an author in his own right. His name should appear as co-author, but my cynical brain thinks the publisher felt Hawking's name would sell more copies.

Much time is given to Richard Feynman and his work in quantum physics. In fact, this book promotes the study of quantum theory as the main ans...more
David Boyce
As a cosmologist and a Stephen Hawking fan, I have a real issue with this book. His statement, that the Universe unpacks itself and therefore does not need a creator is based on some really flawed logic called 'model dependent realism'. MDR is a way of comparing reality to a model, if the model produces the same observable characteristics as observed in reality then the model is said to be as true as any other model.

Imagine this, if there was equal amounts of incriminating evidence that two peop...more
Chy
Since I read this here book, I’m going to attempt to talk like a smart person. It’s a half-hearted attempt and is doomed to failure, as hopefully you realize it already done did.

“There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

(Douglas Adams)

This book totally agrees with...more
Erik Graff
Jan 17, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hawking fans
Recommended to Erik by: A.M.
Shelves: sciences
I was given this book as a reward for helping a friend pick up and deliver newly purchased furniture. As is the case with most such gifts, I began to read it immediately.

I was almost immediately turned off by the text owing to an extraordinary display of ignorance on the part of the authors and the editors, a mistake appearing in the first few pages in their lead-up to what is supposed to be a survey of the history of physics as germinated in Ionian philosophy. Here they note in passing that wri...more
Manish Sinha
This book isn't for beginners. They should first read more simpler books before starting with this one.

The first few chapters of the book are relatively easy to understand and need just basic physics to understand. It assumed you remember concepts of physics like matter-wave-duality. It even assumes you have a basic knowledge of our view of universe some two hundred years back like we are in center of universe etc.

The book contains beautiful graphical depictions and photos. It makes the book ea...more
Jessie
I read this book as part of a Christmas challenge with my fiance. He is a science PhD student who wanted to expand my horizons. I think this was just the book to do it. It is written in a clear, accessible style with hints of humor. I will say that I still dont understand string theory but my fiance's assures me that no one else does either.
محمد  النعمه
في هذا الكتاب الذي يكتب الفيزيائي والعالم الكبير ستفين هوكينج .. يقدم لنا أخر ما توصل له العلم للإجابة على " أسئلة الكون الكبرى "

كتاب ممتع وجميل .. معقد قليل ومصطلحاته الفيزيائية صعبه لغير المتخصصين .. أنصح بقراءته .. قيمته بأربع نجوم على السته الأولى .. فهي جميلة وعلمية ومفيدة .. والكتاب مقسم للفصول التالية //


في الفصل الأول يتحدث " لغز الوجود " .. يطرح المؤلف فكرة الكتاب وكيف سيجيب على الاسئلة الكبرى ( لماذا يوجد الشيء بدلاً من اللا شيء؟ .. لماذا نوجد نحن ؟ .. لماذا توجد هذه المجموعة المحددة...more
Hinch
I once had a friend that was taught by Stephen Hawking. He said that Stephen was a brilliant man, but a poor teacher, and within the community of theoretical physicists, his profile far exceeded his achievements. He caught the interest of his peers with contributions to our understanding of black holes, and the interest of the public first through the release of the now infamous A Brief History of Time (which has sold over 10 million copies), and second, via his personal struggle with motor neur...more
Ana
Ever since I was little, I remember the image of Stephen Hawking from TV. I don't know why, but he remained embroidered in my brain after watching a TV show that spoke of him. This must have been 10 years ago, or something like that, but when it was explained to me what he was and what he was doing and did and why he looked the way he looked (remember I was 7 or 8 so I was bound to ask hurtful questions), I became to develop this fondness towards him.

In my late years (oh, I'm soooo old), when I...more
Andrew Langridge
There are only a couple of positives that I can think to say about this book. Firstly, Hawking has some Feynman-like qualities in being able to lucidly express important ideas in physics such as time dilation in special relativity and the double slit experiment. Secondly, his philosophy of science that he calls model-based realism has many things going for it, although why it is called realism is never fully explained. I did not find this book particularly easy to read, probably because I did no...more
Jacob
I've read snippets of Hawking's books before and enjoyed them. The particular theme of this one interested me so I picked it up. It started out with some creation myths and a well-paced history of bigger picture science. It bogged down in the middle with an exploration of quantam physics that the author felt was necessary for his subsequent theory of Grand Design, but in reality did little for his theory or the book as a whole.

In fact, while engaging, fun to read, and highly informative, the boo...more
Jonathan B
The subtitle to this book could have been "Assertions in search of an argument." The book isn't documented and arguments aren't given at some key points. Hawking and Mlodinow also manage to make themselves look a little naive at times. For example, stating, in the very beginning of the book, that "philosophy is dead" and then going on to rest their entire theory on a (highly controversial) philosophical theory of model-dependent realism.

Of course, Hawking is a huge authority in the eyes of the...more
Lammoth
Въпреки, че поне 60-70% от нещата в книгата вече съм ги срещал и чел в предишните популярни трудове на Хокинг, последните глави обхващат точно темите за живота, сътворението и засяга въпроси от сорта "уникален ли е нашия свят?".
През останалата част сбито и стегнато са ни представени познати неща - опитите на физиката да намери прости математически принципи и чрез тях да се създаде единна теория, която да обясни всичко. Под всичко разбираме обяснение за всеки детайл на материята и силите, които н...more
5pac3m0nkey
Sep 05, 2011 5pac3m0nkey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: physicists, philosophers, dorks
I often wonder how Stephen Hawking writes books since he can't move. Does he dictate the book? Does he use his specialized interface to type it himself? Whatever the case, he clearly is brilliant at solving difficult problems with the tools of physics, astronomy, computer science, and mathematics.
Like Richard Dawkins, Hawking brings in the God question. Assuming what we know is true in science, what does it suggest for the faithful? Well I don't want to spoil the surprise so read the book.
This...more
Alex
Hawking is a terrific self-promoter, and he managed to grab a lot of headlines for this book by claiming he'd killed God or whatever, but the truth is there's very little in this book that Brian Greene didn't cover - and cover better - ten years ago. In fact, a lot of this is stuff Hawking himself has covered in A Brief History of Time.

In the last chapter he brings up Conway and Turing and things get significantly more interesting, but it's too late by that time, since Hawking apparently feels h...more
Irwan
This book contains many of the big ideas that fascinated me during my student days. Quantum physics with its philosophical implications. Robotics and artificial intelligence. The Conway's Game of Life. Those ideas have helped me shape my own thinking by giving alternate perspective of life and everything besides those I got from my surroundings in the childhood years. It was a kind of romantic dream in which I imagined how revolutionary those grand ideas would change the world. At the time, the...more
James Carroll
"Traditionally these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge." Stephen Hawking

I couldn't agree with that statement more. Some of his other conclusions in the book from which the quote was taken "The Grand Design"... not so much.

But in what way is philosophy dead? Clearly the love of wisdom is not dead, but it m...more
Mag
The book attempts to explain what scientists think are the laws of universe, and in particular what the M theory is. The M theory is an attempt at a theory of 'everything' meaning a theory fit to unify laws governing both subatomic particles, energy fields and big bodies, so far an unattainable feat for physicists. It's based on superstring theory and unifies quantum mechanics, general and special theory of relativity, and supports the view that our universe is a part of multiverse- an infinite...more
Haidji
Stephen W. Hawking is a brilliant scientist and a great writer.

You do not need to be an scientist to understand this book.
The book is is well written, clear and comprehensive.
This book makes me want to study physics.

It is a fascinating read.

Ahmad
The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking
سه برگردان فارسی از این کتاب وجود دارد: «علی هادیان و سارا ایزدیار نشر مازیار»؛ «حسین صداقت و امیر امیرآبادی نشر نقش و نگار»؛ «جمیل بصام انتشاران افکار»؛ ا. ش
استیون هاوکینگ می‌گوید: ممکن است روشی که کیهان بوجود آمده هماهنگ با قوانین دانش باشد، که در این صورت نیازی نیست به خدا متوسل بشویم تا تصمیم بگیریم که کیهان چگونه آغاز شده‌است. اگر ما یک فرضیه همه‌جانبه و کامل را در مورد پیدایش عالم کشف کنیم، این مهمترین پیروزی انسان خواهد بود چون ما قادر خواهیم بود که فکر خد...more
Andrew
I just finished Hawkings new novel and figured I'd share some thoughts. First as others have said, this book is a bit more dry than A Brief History of Time, and lacks a good chunk of the wit and humor that made ABHoT so enjoyable.
This book can really be divided into two parts. The first part is an excellent summary of mankind's quest to mathematically describe the laws of nature. Much of the info is about the current push to unify the laws of physics, in particular Quantum Mechanics and Gravity,...more
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  • The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
  • Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution
  • A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing
  • Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos
  • Climbing Mount Improbable
  • Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space
  • The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World
  • The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality
  • Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy
  • Three Roads To Quantum Gravity
  • Why Does E=mc²? (And Why Should We Care?)
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
  • QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
  • Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality
  • The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
1399
Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist and author.

Mlodinow was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1959, of parents who were both Holocaust survivors. His father, who spent more than a year in the Buchenwald death camp, had been a leader in the Jewish resistance under Nazi rule in his hometown of Częstochowa, Poland. As a child, Mlodinow was interested in both mathematics and chemistry, and while in high schoo...more
More about Leonard Mlodinow...
The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior Feynman's Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life Euclid's Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace Kids of Einstein Elementary #2: Titanic Cat

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