Knocking on Heaven's Door

How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World

By Lisa Randall
(Ecco Press, Hardcover, 9780061723728, 464pp.)

Publication Date: September 2011

List Price: $29.99*
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Description

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 is a professor of physics at Harvard University. She is one of today s most influential and highly cited theoretical physicists, and has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions. Her work has been featured in "Time" magazine, the "New York Times", "Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vogue", the "Economist, Scientific American", and elsewhere. Randall is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Physical Society, and is the recipient of several honorary degrees. When not solving the problems of the universe, she can be found rock climbing, skiing, or contributing to art-science connections. "Hypermusic Prologue", a small opera for which she wrote the libretto, premiered in the Pompidou Center in 2009, and "Measure for Measure", an art exhibit she co-curated, opened in Los Angeles in 2010.
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