Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World (Hardcover)
From one of Time magazines 100 most influential people in the world, a rousing defense of the role of science in our lives
The latest developments in physics have the potential to radically revise our understanding of the world: its makeup, its evolution, and the fundamental forces that drive its operation. Knocking on Heavens Door is an exhilarating and accessible overview of these developments and an impassioned argument for the significance of science.
There could be no better guide than Lisa Randall. The bestselling author of Warped Passages is an expert in both particle physics (the study of the smallest objects we know of) and cosmology (the study of the largest). In Knocking on Heavens Door, she explores how we decide which scientific questions to study and how we go about answering them. She examines the role of risk, creativity, uncertainty, beauty, and truth in scientific thinking through provocative conversations with leading figures in other fields (such as the chef David Chang, the forecaster Nate Silver, and the screenwriter Scott Derrickson), and she explains with wit and clarity the latest ideas in physics and cosmology. Randall describes the nature and goals of the largest machine ever built: the Large Hadron Collider, the enormous particle accelerator below the border of France and Switzerlandas well as recent ideas underlying cosmology and current dark matter experiments.
The most sweeping and exciting science book in years, Knocking on Heavens 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.
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. Her work has made her among the most cited and influential theoretical physicists today. She has been one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" and Rolling Stone's "RS100: Agents of Change," and both Knocking on Heaven's Door and Warped Passages have been named New York Times Notable Books. 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. Her libretto for Hypermusic Prologue premiered at the Pompidou Center in Paris in 2009. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.