A Great Book About Nothing

I just finished reading A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing, by Lawrence Krauss. It’s a grand tour de force that attempts to explain why there’s a universe with a bunch of stuff in it rather than nothing.

Interestingly, it turns out our latest understanding of physics and cosmology allows an attempt at answering the question. Krauss makes a cogent argument for why a universe filled with stuff — that could give rise to things like us — is inevitable, based solely on physics. Because a true state of nothing is inherently unstable. No creator need apply :).

What makes the book enjoyable are two things: Krauss’ irreverent sense of humor (he seems to enjoy poking fun at even himself and his earlier, incorrect perspectives) and the way he lucidly explains how the theoretical understanding on which he bases his argument is derived from, and validated by, empirical data.

As an added bonus, there’s not one piece of mathematical symbolism in the entire book. Although he does occasionally blyihely traipse through written explanations which require a certain amount of mental algebra to keep straight. 

If you’re looking for some mind-bending entertainment incorporating a lot of color and humor, check it out.

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