464 pages, illustrations
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.
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Professor Lisa Randall studies theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University. Randall's studies have made her among the most cited and influential theoretical physicists. She has also had a public presence through her writing, lectures, and radio and TV appearances. Her book Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions was included in the New York Times' 100 notable books of 2005. Professor Randall was included in the list of Time magazine's '100 Most Influential People' of 2007 and was featured in Newsweek's 'Who's Next in 2006' as 'one of the most promising theoretical physicists of her generation'. Randall has received numerous awards and honors for her scientific endeavors. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Randall is an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics.