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Ask a Book Buyer | December 6, 2013 4 comments
At Powell's, our book buyers select all the new books in our vast inventory. If we need a book recommendation, we turn to our team of resident... Continue »
Leonard SusskindDescribe your latest project.
At the moment I am writing a book called the Black Hole War. It's the story of one of the great controversies of modern physics concerning the mysterious fate of information that falls into a black hole. For two decades an intellectual war took place between Stephen Hawking, on the one side, and myself and Gerard 't Hooft on the other. The book is about the scientific revolution that the controversy spawned, but also about the colorful personalities and the passions that gave the story its drama. The story starts in Werner Ehrhardt's Mansion in San Francisco, and eventually passes through all seven continents, including Antarctica.
What inspires you to sit down and write?
I have always enjoyed explaining physics. In fact it's more than just enjoyment: I need to explain physics. A lot of my research time is spent daydreaming telling an imaginary admiring audience of laymen how to understand some difficult scientific idea. I suppose I am a bit of a ham, but it's more than that. It's part of the way I think: a mental tool for organizing my ideas and even creating new ways of thinking about problems. So it was natural that at some point I would decide to try my hand at writing a book for a general audience.
Chess or video games?
I should add that Yakir was an Israeli chess master who once played Bobby Fischer. He lost.
What do you do for relaxation?
What was your favorite book as a kid?
What new technology do you think may actually have the potential for making people's lives better?
If you could be reincarnated for one day to live the life of any scientist or writer, who would you choose and why?
What was your best subject in high school? Your worst?
What are some of the things you'd like your computer to do that it cannot now do?
Which country do you believe currently leads the world in science and technology? In ten years?