A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing - Lawrence M. Krauss, Richard Dawkins This is Lawerence Krauss's attempt at denying the existence of a deity through explaining the current state of physics and cosmology. It follows (with much more detail) his RDF foundation lecture which was up until recently on YouTube (and which I enjoyed immensely).

The current state of physics parts of the book are quite informative and bring thing almost up to date - I can't pretend I understand all of it (to paraphrase Richard Feynman "If you think you understand it, then you don't understand it") however it has cleared up a few questions that I was only vaguely aware had been resolved -such as 'does our universe have an open, closed, or flat topology' and 'Why does the cosmic microwave background radiation appear lumpy' - both of which are answered here (and in this spoiler a) it is flat, b) because nothing travels faster than light and local variations in the plasma of the big bang would not have time to 'equalize' as per expected theories since the expansion of the plasma was at or close to the speed of light ).

Of course it is very difficult to explain very bizarre ideas, such as those that arise from modern physics and cosmology to dim witted person-sized earth-dweller such as myself - and especially to do this without any mathematics and I credit Krauss for this and for the fact that I did actually increase my knowledge of the universe through reading it. The difficulty is the constant references to the G-Word, which are completely unnecessary in my view. Anyone reading this book is unlikely to need to be convinced of the existence or otherwise of a first cause, and frankly the sheer beauty of the ideas, if understood, is highly unlikely persuade you either way - after all the 'first cause' in the case of the universe is still unknown, and will probably never be entirely provable anyway.

The idea of 'something from nothing' is also fascinating and is an interesting idea. Suffice to say, if the theorists are right here (and they think they are!) then it is possible that the universe just popped into existence of it's own accord. And I guess if it happened once...

One annoying thing however is that, in my copy least, the figures used to illuminate the text seemed to be sequenced badly and lacked captions. This made it difficult to identify which figures related to which chunks of text!