Synopses & Reviews
andquot;If you are looking for a bracing alternative vision of physics built from the ground up, Smolin's Time Reborn will take you to the mountaintop.andquot; andmdash; NPR
What is time?
Itandrsquo;s the sort of question we rarely ask because it seems so obvious. And yet, to a physicist, time is simply a human construct and an illusion. If you could somehow get outside the universe and observe it from there, you would see that every moment has always existed and always will. Lee Smolin disagrees, and in Time Reborn he lays out the case why.
Recent developments in physics and cosmology point toward the reality of time and the openness of the future. Smolinandrsquo;s groundbreaking theory postulates that physical laws can evolve over time and the future is not yet determined. Newtonandrsquo;s fundamental laws may not remain so fundamental. Time Reborn serves as a popular primer and investigation of time, both what it is and how the true nature of it impacts our world.
andquot;He challenges not only Einsteinandrsquo;s relativity, but also the very notion of natural laws as immutable truths.andquot; andmdash; Economist
andldquo;One of the essential books of the twenty-first century . . . Smolin provides a much-needed dose of clarity about time, with implications that go far beyond physics to economics, politics, and personal philosophy.andrdquo; andmdash; Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget
“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, sequencer of the human genome and developer of the first synthetic life
“Science has a battle for hearts and minds on its hands: a battle on two frontsagainst superstition and ignorance on one flank, and against pseudo-intellectual obscurantism on the other. How good it feels to have Lisa Randalls unusual blend of top flight science, clarity, and charm on our side.” Richard Dawkins, author of < i=""> The Selfish Gene <> and < i=""> The God Delusion <>
“Randalls lucid explanations of . . . the frontiers of physics-including her own dazzling ideas-are highly illuminating, and her hearty defense of reason and science is a welcome contribution. . . . Read this book today to understand the science of tomorrow.” Steven Pinker, author of < i=""> How the Mind Works <> and < i=""> The Stuff of Thought <>
“Lisa Randall is the rarest raritya theoretical physics genius who can write and talk to the rest of us in ways we both understand and enjoy. This book takes nonspecialists as close as theyll ever get to the inner workings of the cosmos.” Lawrence H. Summers, President Emeritus of Harvard University
"Explores some of the biggest ideas in contemporary physics and how they undergird such everyday matters as risk assessment, logic and even our understanding of beauty." Time magazine
“[Randalls] eloquent book details the trials and tribulations of the [Large Hadron Collider], from conception to implementation, and takes us on a grand tour of the underlying science.” Nature
“[Randall is] one of the more original theorists at work in the profession today. . . . She gives a fine analysis of the affinity between scientific and artistic beauty, comparing the broken symmetries of a Richard Serra sculpture to those at the core of the Standard Model.” New York Times Book Review
“The general readers indispensable passport to the frontiers of science.” Booklist (starred review)
“A deep and deeply wonderful explanation of how scienceand the rest of the known universeactually works.” Daniel Gilbert, author of < i=""> Stumbling on Happiness <>
“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)
“An exciting read about the very edge of modern science. . . . [Knocking on Heavens Door] inspires a sense of awe, appreciation and excitement for what the future holds.” Daily Texan
“Startlingly honest [and] beautifully written. . . . Randalls calm authority and clarity of explanation are exemplary. . . . Like being taken behind the curtain in Oz and given a full tour by the wizard.” New Scientist
“Valuable and engaging. . . . Randalls generous cornucopia of ideas, her engaging style, and above all her deep excitement about physics make this a book that deserves a wide readership.” American Scientist
“Offers the reader a glimpse of the future. . . . An enlightening and exciting read.” San Francisco Book Review
“I didnt 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 & #150;winning producer and writer of < i=""> Lost <>
“Randall manages to transform . . . experiments at distant and unfamiliar scales into crucial acts in a cosmic drama.” Dai ly Beast
“Randalls 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
“[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 Heavens Door] dazzles like the stars.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Written with dry wit and ice-cool clarity. A book anyone at all interested in science must read. Surely the science book of the year.” Sunday Times (London)
“Full of passion and jaw-dropping facts. . . . A fascinating account of modern particle physics, both theoretical and practical.” The Independent on Sunday
“Very accessible, readable, and appealing to a broad audience. . . . Randalls passion and excitement for science and physics is infectious and welcome in our digital age.” New York Journal of Books
"A highly readable, accessible look at particle physics today and . . . a passionate defense and celebration of the scientific worldview in general." Discovery News
“Lisa Randall has written Knocking on Heavens Door in the same witty, informal style with which she explains physics in person, making complex ideas fascinating and easy to understand. Her book . . . just might make you think differentlyand encourage you to make smarter decisions about the world.” President Bill Clinton
"[Smolinand#8217;s] book, a mix of science, philosophy and science fiction, is at once entertaining, thought-provoking, fabulously ambitious and fabulously speculative." and#8212;The New York Times
"Provocative, original, and unsettling." and#8212;The New York Review of Books
"Brilliantand#8230;Smolin gives what is, for me, the best analysis of the nature of time from a physics viewpoint in a popular science book I have ever seen." and#8212;Popular Science
"Smolin provides a much-needed dose of clarity about time, with implications that go far beyond physics to economics, politics, and personal philosophy. An essential book for physicists and non-physicists alike, Time Reborn offers a path to better theory and potentially to a better society.
" and#8212;Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget
and The Fate of Power and the Future of Dignity
"Applying his deep mastery of cosmology, quantum mechanics, general relativity and all the diverse attempts at quantum gravity, in Time Reborn Lee Smolin weaves a convincing and entirely new view of reality
. He shows us how contemporary physics eliminates time and argues persuasively that any adequate cosmology rests on making time and and#8216;nowand#8217; fundamental." and#8212;Stuart Kauffman, University of Vermont, author of At Home in the Universe
"Smolin is an excellent writer, a creative thinker and is ecumenical in the way he covers so many different branches of thought.
Even as I mentally argued with this book, I kept on ploughing through to see how Smolin dealt with the objections. I would love to sit down with him over a drink and debate the ins and outs of his theory. And that is how this book should be read: as an account that makes you ask questions." and#8212;Nature
"An entertaining, head-spinning and, yes, timely blend of philosophy, science, and speculation to put the Now back into physics." and#8212;The Telegraph
"An energetic case for a paradigm shift that could produce mind-boggling changes in the way we experience our world." and#8212;Publishers Weekly
"A thoughtful, complex re-evaluation of the role of time in the universeand#8230;A flood of ideas from an imaginative thinker." and#8212;Kirkus
"With rare conceptual daring, Smolin beckons toward a new perspective for doing cosmological theoryand#8230;A thrilling intellectual ride!"and#8212;Booklist (starred 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.
Dazzling ideas .Read this book today to understand the science of tomorrow.
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.
“Science has a battle for hearts and minds on its hands….How good it feels to have Lisa Randalls unusual blend of top flight science, clarity, and charm on our side.”
“Dazzling ideas….Read this book today to understand the science of tomorrow.”
The bestselling author of Warped Passages, one of Time magazines “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and one of Esquires “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 authors provocative conversations with Nate Silver, David Chang, and Scott Derrickson, Knocking on Heavens 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.
One of Time
magazine's 100 most influential people in the world and the bestselling author of Warped Passages
, Lisa Randall is an expert in both particle physics (the study of the smallest objects we know of) and cosmology (the study of the largest). In this, her most recent book, Randall takes us on an amazing tour through the latest developments in physics—including a new preface explaining the thrilling discovery of the Higgs boson—and the theoretical concepts underlying this work.
Knocking on Heaven's Door also explores the role of risk, creativity, uncertainty, beauty, and truth in scientific thinking. Through provocative conversations with leading figures in other fields, including chef David Chang, forecaster Nate Silver, and screenwriter Scott Derrickson, and through reflections on her own work, Randall makes an impassioned argument in defense of science.
One of our foremost thinkers and public intellectuals offers a radical new view of the nature of time, and explores its implications for everything from physics and cosmology to economics and climate change.
About the Author
Lisa Randall studies theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University, where she is the Frank J. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science and the author of the New York Times Notable Books Knocking on Heaven's Door and Warped Passages. Her work has set her among the most cited and influential theoretical physicists today, and she is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. When not solving the problems of the universe, Randall can be found rock climbing, skiing, or contributing to art-science connections. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.