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Knocking On Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World
September 2011
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Knocking On Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World
by Lisa Randall

The latest developments in physics have the potential to radically revise our understanding of the universe: its make-up, its evolution and the fundamental forces that determine its operation. Knocking on Heaven's Door is an exhilarating and accessible overview of these developments and a rousing defence of the role of science in our lives.There could be no better guide than Lisa Randall: the bestselling author of Warped Passages is an expert on both particle physics (the study of the smallest objects we know of) and cosmology (the study of the largest) and is one of the most highly regarded theoretical physicists in the world. In Knocking on Heaven's Door she recounts the thrilling progress in our understanding of the universe from Galileo and Newton to Einstein and Feynman; she explores how we decide which scientific questions to study and how we go about answering them; and she examines the role of risk, creativity, uncertainty, beauty and truth in scientific thinking.Throughout, Lisa Randall explains with wit and clarity the latest ideas in physics and cosmology, including the aims of the biggest and most expensive machine ever built: the Large Hadron Collider, the enormous particle accelerator situated over a 100 metres below the French-Swiss border. More than 27 kilometres in circumference, it has within it the hottest spot in the galaxy as well as the coldest and features the most powerful supercomputer system of all time.One of the most illuminating science books in years, Knocking on Heaven's Door makes clear the biggest scientific questions we face and reveals how answering them could ultimately tell us who we are and where we came from.


Many books call to mind superlatives, but this one has them all. Lisa Randall's lucid explanations of concepts at the frontiers of physics including her own dazzling ideas are highly illuminating, and her hearty defense of reason and science is a welcome contribution to the contemporary world of ideas. Read this book today to understand the science of tomorrow
Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor and author of How the Mind Works 

Lisa Randall is the rarest rarity a theoretical physics genius who can write and talk to the rest of us in ways we both understand and enjoy. This book takes the nonspecialist as close as they'll ever get to the inner workings of the cosmos
Larry Summers 

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, author of The God Delusion 

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 writer of television series Lost 

Lisa Randall does a great job of explaining to the non-physicist the basic scientific 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 

Her touch is light and deft; these are not topics that come easily to life, and they are unavoidably complex at times, but Randall's calm authority and clarity of explanation are exemplary
Michael Brooks (New Scientist)

Lisa Randall is a hugely gifted theoretical particle physicist... Her account of the humungous engineering and logistical achievement that is the building and running of the Large Hadron Collider is fantastic: full of passion and jaw-dropping facts... A fascinating account of modern particle physics, both theoretical and practical
Doug Johnstone (Independent on Sunday)

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
Christopher Potter (Sunday Times)

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