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Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World

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Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World Cover

ISBN13: 9780061723728
ISBN10: 006172372x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Less Than Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The bestselling author of Warped Passages, one of Time magazine's “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and one of Esquire's "75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century," Lisa Randall gives us an exhilarating overview of the latest ideas in physics and offers a rousing defense of the role of science in our lives.

Featuring fascinating insights into our scientific future born from the author’s provocative conversations with Nate Silver, David Chang, and Scott Derrickson, Knocking on Heaven’s Door is eminently readable, one of the most important popular science books of this or any year. It is a necessary volume for all who admire the work of Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Brian Greene, Simon Singh, and Carl Sagan; for anyone curious about the workings and aims of the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest and most expensive machine ever built by mankind; for those who firmly believe in the importance of science and rational thought; and for anyone interested in how the Universe began...and how it might ultimately end.

Review:

"Dispelling the idea that science is based on unchanging rules, Harvard physicist Randall (Warped Passages) offers an insider's view of modern physics, a vital, continually 'evolving body of knowledge' in which previous ideas are always open to change — or even disposal, when researchers discover a theory which better fits observational evidence. While acknowledging art and religion as different ways to search for truth, Randall celebrates how science 'seeks objective and verifiable truth' through careful observation and measurement. As our technology allows our view of the world to expand, the range of things we can observe also expands, from what we can see with our naked eye to the world of subatomic particles and forces studied by particle physicists. The Large Hadron Collider is the biggest, most complex tool yet built to parse this tiny world to answer some of physics' biggest questions: the source of mass and gravity, the secrets behind dark matter and dark energy, and the underlying structure of the universe. Randall's witty, accessible discussion reveals the effort and wonder at hand as scientists strive to learn who we are and where we came from. 75 b&w illus. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"I didn't think it was possible to write a complex, detailed look at the world of physics that the non-scientist could understand, but then Lisa Randall wrote this amazing, insightful, and engaging book and proved me wrong." Carlton Cuse, award-winning producer and writer of Lost

Review:

"Randall's witty, accessible discussion reveals the effort and wonder at hand as scientists strive to learn who we are and where we came from." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[A] whip-smart inquiry into the scientific work being conducted in particle physics....[Randall] brings a thrumming enthusiasm to the topic, but she is unhurried and wryly humorous....[Knocking on Heaven's Door] dazzles like the stars." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Review:

"Lisa Randall does a great job of explaining to the non-physicist the basic science approaches of modern physics and what the latest experiments might reveal....This is a must read to appreciate what is coming in our future." J. Craig Venter, Ph.D.

Review:

"The general reader's indispensable passport to the frontiers of science." Booklist (starred review)

Review:

"Beautifully written....An impressive overview of what scientists (of any kind) get up to, how they work and why science is an inherently creative endeavor." Times Higher Education (London)

Review:

"Randall's passion and excitement for science and physics is infectious and welcome in our digital age." New York Journal of Books

Review:

"Full of passion and jaw-dropping facts....A fascinating account of modern particle physics, both theoretical and practical." The Independent on Sunday

Review:

"Written with dry wit and ice-cool clarity....Knocking on Heaven's Door is a book that anyone at all interested in science must read. This is surely the science book of the year." Sunday Times (London)

Review:

"Randall manages to transform...experiments at distant and unfamiliar scales into crucial acts in a cosmic drama." Daily Beast

Review:

"Startlingly honest [and] beautifully written....Like being taken behind the curtain in Oz and given a full tour by the wizard." NewScientist.com

Review:

"Science has a battle for hearts and minds on its hands....How good it feels to have Lisa Randall's unusual blend of top flight science, clarity, and charm on our side." Richard Dawkins

Review:

"Dazzling ideas....Read this book today to understand the science of tomorrow." Steven Pinker

Book News Annotation:

Randall (particle physics and cosmology, Harvard U.) surveys cutting edge theoretical physics, focusing on research enabled by the Large Hadron Collider. It is intended for a non-specialist audience and makes many connections between this research and how thinking scientifically works. The importance of scale is stressed through-out the book. She addresses how scientists deal with uncertainty as something other than failure and as an inevitable aspect of their work. In the latter sections of the books, she turns to concerns about black-holes forming as a result of experiments in the Large Hadron Collider, as well as the creativity involved in the scientific process and even the implications science has for aesthetic judgment. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Lisa Randall is an expert on particle physics, string theory, and cosmology. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, she has been a tenured professor at Princeton, MIT, and Harvard, and she is one of the most highly cited physicists in her field. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Michael Barton, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by Michael Barton)
Many books look at either the nature of science as a method of knowledge creation or the state of current theories in particle physics and cosmology, Randall, a particle physicist, however, weaves narratives of both into a single book. While at first this may seem like pressing together two different topics, it works well to show science as a human process. The overall strength of Randall’s offering is in her lucid descriptions of the largest experimental machine ever built (the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, operated by CERN), the history of its construction and the many ways that physicists are using it and planning to use it to not only study their immediate scientific interests, but, in Randall’s words, to “ultimately tell us about who we are and where we came from.” Here, then, Randall shares her thoughts about the intersection between science and religion. While physicists are currently debating the recent claim from a lab associated with CERN that neutrinos were recorded exceeding the speed of light, Knocking on Heaven’s Door serves to remind that science is an evolving process, that all ideas in science are not set in stone but tentative to revision based on evidence.
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kristinemijares, January 3, 2012 (view all comments by kristinemijares)
Absolutely the best book of the year. An intelligent, creative, forward-thinking, and hopeful book that thankfully appeared at the right moment in order to be the antithesis of just about everything else that defines this past year. This work of nonfiction and theory sparked my interest more than any of the fiction I read this year.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061723728
Subtitle:
How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World
Author:
Randall, Lisa
Publisher:
Ecco
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
Physics-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20110920
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.25 in 17.78 oz

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Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.50 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Ecco Press - English 9780061723728 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Dispelling the idea that science is based on unchanging rules, Harvard physicist Randall (Warped Passages) offers an insider's view of modern physics, a vital, continually 'evolving body of knowledge' in which previous ideas are always open to change — or even disposal, when researchers discover a theory which better fits observational evidence. While acknowledging art and religion as different ways to search for truth, Randall celebrates how science 'seeks objective and verifiable truth' through careful observation and measurement. As our technology allows our view of the world to expand, the range of things we can observe also expands, from what we can see with our naked eye to the world of subatomic particles and forces studied by particle physicists. The Large Hadron Collider is the biggest, most complex tool yet built to parse this tiny world to answer some of physics' biggest questions: the source of mass and gravity, the secrets behind dark matter and dark energy, and the underlying structure of the universe. Randall's witty, accessible discussion reveals the effort and wonder at hand as scientists strive to learn who we are and where we came from. 75 b&w illus. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "I didn't think it was possible to write a complex, detailed look at the world of physics that the non-scientist could understand, but then Lisa Randall wrote this amazing, insightful, and engaging book and proved me wrong."
"Review" by , "Randall's witty, accessible discussion reveals the effort and wonder at hand as scientists strive to learn who we are and where we came from."
"Review" by , "[A] whip-smart inquiry into the scientific work being conducted in particle physics....[Randall] brings a thrumming enthusiasm to the topic, but she is unhurried and wryly humorous....[Knocking on Heaven's Door] dazzles like the stars."
"Review" by , "Lisa Randall does a great job of explaining to the non-physicist the basic science approaches of modern physics and what the latest experiments might reveal....This is a must read to appreciate what is coming in our future."
"Review" by , "The general reader's indispensable passport to the frontiers of science."
"Review" by , "Beautifully written....An impressive overview of what scientists (of any kind) get up to, how they work and why science is an inherently creative endeavor."
"Review" by , "Randall's passion and excitement for science and physics is infectious and welcome in our digital age."
"Review" by , "Full of passion and jaw-dropping facts....A fascinating account of modern particle physics, both theoretical and practical."
"Review" by , "Written with dry wit and ice-cool clarity....Knocking on Heaven's Door is a book that anyone at all interested in science must read. This is surely the science book of the year."
"Review" by , "Randall manages to transform...experiments at distant and unfamiliar scales into crucial acts in a cosmic drama."
"Review" by , "Startlingly honest [and] beautifully written....Like being taken behind the curtain in Oz and given a full tour by the wizard."
"Review" by , "Science has a battle for hearts and minds on its hands....How good it feels to have Lisa Randall's unusual blend of top flight science, clarity, and charm on our side."
"Review" by , "Dazzling ideas....Read this book today to understand the science of tomorrow."
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