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4.0 von 5 Sternen Metaphysical Physics
Stephen Hawking, a master of simplicity, gives us an accessible starting point for further in-depth ventures. After announcing the death of philosophy the book takes over and addresses the eternal questions of existence. Where do we come from? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? I presume the answers won't please everybody but at least the book...
Vor 13 Monaten von Emmanouil Pajatakis veröffentlicht

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1.0 von 5 Sternen very basic, lacking in depth logical explanations, DONT BUY!
This book has only become well known due to the media hype that has accompanied it. Respected and well known book critics such as Jeffrey Kluger (TIMES magazine) have praised this book for indecipherable reasons.

I decided to read this book in hope that it would bring forth new ideas or put old theories into a new perspective. Yet, I was utterly disillusioned...
Veröffentlicht am 19. November 2010 von Ben


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32 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen very basic, lacking in depth logical explanations, DONT BUY!, 19. November 2010
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Grand Design (Taschenbuch)
This book has only become well known due to the media hype that has accompanied it. Respected and well known book critics such as Jeffrey Kluger (TIMES magazine) have praised this book for indecipherable reasons.

I decided to read this book in hope that it would bring forth new ideas or put old theories into a new perspective. Yet, I was utterly disillusioned. The work is based on the most basic physics principles and theories known to any individual that has taken Physics at an advanced high school level. The various basic theories and principals are explained at an extremely superficial level for readers that have no knowledge of physics. This may explain the affirmative reviews of some critics. Furthermore, all sophisticated and interesting ideas presented by the book (such as M-theory being the only candidate for a unified theory) are not explained to the necessary depth. Some arguments simply state facts such as: discrete matter cannot be created from nothing yet a whole universe can, argument done. Thus, this book might be interesting to those who have never dealt with physics. However, this is exactly what makes this book so disappointing as it has been presented as a book that encompasses revolutionary ideas developed by the greatest minds of our time. Yet, not a single idea of Stephen Hawkins himself is presented in the entire book. The book is merely a collection of other physicist's ideas. This also results in the book consisting to 50% of science history.

In addition, irrational and bias comments such as the one occurring on the very first page: "philosophy is dead" immediately disqualifies this book from the higher ranks. Philosophy is more a way of dealing with and understanding the world we live in rather than explaining the how and why which is the task of physics. Such statements indicate arrogance of the author who seems to have a reputation far too great for his true mental capabilities.

Overall I believe this book has utterly failed at meeting the standards that were set for it. It is neither a book for the well informed reader or even minimally informed reader who would even be interested in such a book. It is a book for those completely unaware of the current standing of modern science.
The only good message the book conveys is that god does not exist.
DO NOT BUY!
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28 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen It's turtles all the way down!, 24. Oktober 2010
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Grand Design (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Stephen Hawking's new book 'The Grand Design' makes an interesting read. It is an informative but popular book about contemporary theoretical physics, stimulating, witty and, with its magnificent artwork, aesthetically as well as intellectually pleasing.

Eight chapters take you on a journey starting with the ancient Greeks and ending with M-theory. On the way complicated ideas such as quantum theory, relativity, super-gravity, the anthropic principle (both weak and strong), as well as questions as to the relevance of God for science and why we exist, are clearly discussed. I recommend this book to those who have a basic background in physics but you might also consider reading Brian Greene's 'The Elegant Universe' which covers the same material with equal clarity but more depth. Finally, as could be expected, 'The Grand Design' does not give a better answer to the meaning of life than that already supplied by Monty Python or Douglas Adams.

Is the book without blemish? Unfortunately not. Regrettably the publishers seem to think that anyone reading a book on quantum and space-time physics will be bewildered by the concept of 10 raised to a power and will feel happier if some temperatures are given in Fahrenheit. Furthermore there are two self-inflicted problems, one minor, the other not quite so. Let us start with the minor problem.

The book starts with a flourish. "Philosophy is dead", we are told; "Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery". This initial lack of modesty is backed-up by an occasional outbreak of Aristotle-bashing. According to the authors the old man with the beard "didn't make definite predictions, and when [he] did, the predictions weren't always in agreement with observation. One of these predictions was that heavier objects should fall faster because their purpose is to fall."

But unfortunately for Messrs Hawking and Mlodinow heavier things do fall faster as any underweight member of a sky-diving group will certify. They know that it is difficult to hold hands in a circle when descending with their more corpulent companions because 'fatties fall faster'. Indeed Newton's equations are adequate to show why. Similarly-shaped objects but of differing mass will fall at equal rates in a vacuum (which neither Aristotle nor the authors believe in) but in air the heavier ones come down quicker. So 1 point to Aristotle, 0 points to the two contemporary physicists. (This is a reason to buy the first edition because such an embarrassing blunder will certainly disappear in revised versions.)

Steven Weinberg described in chapter seven of his book 'Dreams of a Final Theory' the annoyance that philosophy can cause physicists. Unfortunately such explanations are lacking in 'The Grand Design'. Furthermore the demonstration that the authors are capable of scoring home-goals gives the impression of haste and superficiality and make us wary to accept uncritically other statements. And rightly so because the second problem is less trivial.

At the very beginning of the book it is suggested that we should adopt 'model-dependent realism' to understand our universe. According to the authors what is important is that a theory correctly predicts things which can be observed. If two theories "accurately predict the same events, one cannot be said to be more real than the other; rather, we are free to use whichever model is most convenient." If you take them literally then what they are saying is something like:
it does not matter if one theory uses electron, quarks and bosons to predict a result and the other utilizes little green men with bongo sticks; if both methods make accurate predictions which conform to our experiences when tested then both are equally valid and both are equally 'real'.

Now if a theory is real so too must be the entities that that theory uses. By 'real' I mean that there is a correspondence between an entity which we define in our theory (like mass, electron or quark) and something in the world which exists independently of us. For so-called 'scientific realists' electrons are not a convenient fiction: they really do exist. But if everything that makes the correct predictions is equally real, as the authors seem to suggest, then this can only be good news for little green men with bongo sticks. (Even taken literally Messrs Hawking and Mlodinow would not be advocating something new - it's called 'constructive empiricism' - although its followers normally remain agnostic about the possible reality of theoretical entities.)

Of course Hawking and Mlodinow do not believe this, they are full-bloodied scientific realists (like the vast majority of us). They believe there is a real world out there full of stuff that we can comprehend through science and they testify to this in the rest of their book by speaking of electrons, photons, and quarks in the same breath as footballs and rubber ducks on water. For them even when two theories predict the same result one can be superior; for example, even at low velocities Einstein mass is an improvement on Newton's definition because it is a better description of reality, (or - and just to be provocative - what Aristotle would have regarded as the 'essence' of mass).

Much later in the book it becomes clear why the authors attach such importance to a 'model-dependent reality'. We are told "It could be that the physicist's traditional expectation of a single theory of nature is untenable, and there exists no single formulation." Instead of a 'theory of everything' it is suggested we could use the family of theories collectively known as M-theory. Each individual theory successfully predicts observable phenomena in its own domain and each agrees with its neighbors on predictions where they overlap. We are given the impression that M-theory is like one-stop-shopping: a place where you can find the theory that fits your particular, if limited, requirement. (Unfortunately very little else is discussed in the book about M-theory, although we are assured it is the ultimate solution.)

Now it could be that the 'model-dependent reality' approach is appropriate in string theory. This is far removed from the microscopic concepts like electrons and photons we normally use. But its general use, and this is what is advocated in the beginning of the book, is a problem because it is a body-blow to scientific realism. It means that the same entity could be a flat plate in one theory and a tortoise in another. Only where two theories overlap is it turtles all the way down! In other words there is nothing fundamental, nothing thought-independent, about any entity used in these theories. Each time you change theories you get new entities. And the entities are new because they have different properties. Entities are defined through their properties (Newton's mass has different properties than Einstein's) so if the properties change so too does the entity. The plate first becomes a turtle then a tortoise. Everything is metamorphic and everything changes according to the theory you wish to use.

As for God, well the authors' concept seems not to have progressed further than the beginning of Genesis. Einstein was once asked if he believed in God. He replied that he believed in Spinoza's God. However Messrs Hawking and Mlodinow would have to read philosophy to understand why this response might be more profound than their answer.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Metaphysical Physics, 12. Juni 2014
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Grand Design (Kindle Edition)
Stephen Hawking, a master of simplicity, gives us an accessible starting point for further in-depth ventures. After announcing the death of philosophy the book takes over and addresses the eternal questions of existence. Where do we come from? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? I presume the answers won't please everybody but at least the book tries to address these metaphysical questions using the language of our time with an almost entertaining style. It is worth reading Hawking's reasoning why, contrary to creationist dogmatism, our highly complex world does not need a creator God at his origin. However, by mentioning that biology, chemistry and psychology are reducible to physics if only the trillions of equations could be solved the book does not escape from dogmatism itself. So, handle with care!
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4.0 von 5 Sternen 42 vs the M-theory, 10. Oktober 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Grand Design (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Being one of the most influential physicists of our time Stephen Hawking has contributed a lot to the field of cosmology over the years. In The Grand Design he once again brings the interested reader closer to understanding the universe and how it works.
Why is the universe the way it is? This is just one of the questions which Hawking tackles by shedding light on recent discoveries and theoretical advances in his field. Presenting itself as a concise survey that covers the history behind the modern view of the universe this book is written for those of non-scientific background which, admittedly, some might view as a bit too simplistic. However, it is exactly the kind of book on science, or rather physics, that a girl like me needs. Why? Because apart from being a really fascinating topic, it is highly comprehensibly written, making the quest for a unified theory of the universe accessible to the reader without causing major headaches. And both the subtle humor and the interspersed cartoons are just an added bonus.
Granted, I still can't wrap my mind around those eleven dimensions, but no one's perfect. Let me introduce you to the M-theory which is (at the moment anyway) the only candidate for a complete theory of the universe, or rather for a universe that creates itself. No creator necessary.
In short: To some the answer is 42, to Hawking it's the M-theory!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley.com book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: 'Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.'
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Unbelievable how so many complicated ideas were transformed into an accessible book, 4. Dezember 2014
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Grand Design (Taschenbuch)
"The Grand Design" by Stephen W. Hawking is the new book is a brilliant scientist, a sort of sequel to his most famous book "A Brief History of Time" with which this wonderful writer and physicist due to his knowledge once again pleasantly surprised.

In this book that he made together with Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking has gone one step further than the issues being discussed in his previous works and grapple with some fundamental and ultimate questions of human origin.

Inside, Hawking asks the questions "Why is there something rather than nothing?", "Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned to allow the existence of a people?", "Is there a master plan of some supreme being who created us or is there a scientific explanation?"
And then he provides the answers to those questions.

"The Grand Design" is a kind of handbook on quantum physics and metaphysics for complete dummies, and in a great way Hawking speaks about the question of God's existence, especially because lately some have started labeling him as religious, along with some other well-known scientists.
So, it's amazing how these two authors managed to create a work with so many complicated ideas and transform them into an accessible book that is extremely easy to read.

Therefore, the "The Grand Design" is a book that can be recommended to Hawking fans, physicists and other people who love science, but also to all those who want to hear new discoveries about centuries old existing human beliefs.

Although its volume doesn't suggest it, this is a great and informative book that must be read.
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10 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Der Tod der Philosphie??, 13. November 2010
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Grand Design (Taschenbuch)
Wo kommen wir her? Wo gehen wir hin? Was ist die Grundlage unserer Existenz? Stephen Hawking stellt philosophisch anmutende Fragen, nur um dann knallhart festzustellen, dass die gute alte Philosophie zur Beantwortung dieser Fragen nicht mehr gebraucht werde: "[P]hilosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge" (5). Doch es ist nicht nur die Philosophie, die ihr Fett wegkriegt. Hawking, der in seinen bisherigen Büchern immer noch zumindestens die Möglichkeit der Existenz von Göttern offengelassen hat, bekennt jetzt auch hier Farbe und stellt klar: "Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing [...]. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going" (180).

Doch worum geht es in "The Grand Design" überhaupt? Auf nur knapp 200 Seiten stellt Hawking den Versuch der Wissenschaft dar, zu einer "Theory of Everything" zu gelangen, sprich einem Erklärungsmodell, welches das Funktionieren alles Existierenden erklärt. Dazu führt er ein in die Grundlagen der Quantenphysik und Einsteins Relativitätstheorie. Zudem geht es um die M-Theorie, welches wohl die einzige Kandidatin für eine "Theory of Everything" ist. Das alles ist harter Tobak und für Laien so schwierig nachzuvollziehen, dass es manchmal wie Science-Fiction anmutet. So geht die M-Theorie von elf Dimensionen aus, wobei zeitliche und räumliche Dimensionen, nach Einstein, parallel nebeneinander existieren. Ebenso abgefahren erscheint eine Prämisse der Quantenphysik, dass kleinste Teilchen alle möglichen Wege gleichzeitig nehmen mit dem Ergebnis, dass es theoretisch mehrere nebeneinanderher existierende Universen geben muss und wir nur in einem davon leben. Dies wiederum hat erhebliche Konsequenzen auf unser Konzept von "Realität" (siehe dazu: Kapitel 4: Alternative Histories).

Fazit: Viel verstanden habe ich, so glaube ich wenigstens, nicht. Trotzdem, oder gerade deshalb, ist "The Grand Design" so faszinierend zu lesen, da es einen zumindestens erahnen lässt, wie enorm komplex das, was wir als unsere Umwelt wahrnehmen, aufgebaut ist. Mythen sind schön und gut. Sie hat es immer gegeben und wird es wohl auch immer geben, da sie einfache Antworten auf nicht einfach zu beantwortende Fragen liefern. Doch warum seinen Verstand opfern und sich ins religiös-mythische flüchten, wo die wahre Suche nach den Grundlagen unserer Existenz doch viel spannender ist.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The grand Hawking, 24. November 2013
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Grand Design (Kindle Edition)
Das letzte Buch von Hawking besticht durch seine Klarheit in der Darstellung hochkomplexer Zusammenhänge.
Es wird hier auf die jüngsten Erkenntnisse der Physik, obwohl sich Hawking gerne als Träumer bezeichnet, eingegangen.
Auch wenn Hawking Agnostiker ist, der dann abrupt abbricht, wenn es gilt, weiter zu hinterfragen, wird man gut in die Welt der möglichen Paralleluniversen, Quantentheorie und Relativitätstheorie geleitet, dessen Eindruck man sich nicht leicht entziehen kann.
Interessant ist es, dieses Buch parallel mit anderen Arbeiten zu vergleichen, die eben doch eine Schöpferinstanz hinter der Entwicklung der Welt sehen.
Es ist schon interessant, was dieser praktisch nur noch aus Intellekt bestehende Forscher leistet und uns übermittelt.
Es ist schon eine spannende Geschichte, die uns Hawking darstellt.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Stephen Hawking!!! das sagt schon alles..., 16. Mai 2014
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Grand Design (Taschenbuch)
Wer sich für das Universum und Physik interessiert, der kennt bestimmt schon Stephen Hawking. Einer der führenden Physiker unserer Zeit... einfach ein Genie. Aber jetzt muss sich keiner fürchten, dass das Buch nicht zu verstehen ist, denn zusammen mit Leonard Mlodinow hat Hawking ein weiteres Populärwissenschaftliches Buch geschrieben, welches inhaltlich zwar anspruchsvoll, aber dennoch verständlich und fachlich sehr gut ist. Es handelt sich hierbei um eine Ausgabe in Originalsprache, daher sind gute Englischkenntisse Pflicht.

definitiv empfehlenswert!
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Oouuuf!, 16. Juni 2013
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Grand Design (Kindle Edition)
Es ist beeindruckend wie Hawking es versteht auch komplizierteste Zusammenhänge noch anschaulich darzustellen. Aber es ist schon anstrengend den Ausführungen zu folgen.
Ohne wissenschaftlichen Hintergrund wohl doch schwer zu verdauen.
Etwas sehr bemüht um Humor an einigen Stellen, lockert aber doch auf.
Alles in allem empfehlenswert um einen Überblick über die Antworten der Physik auf die großen Fragen.
Sehr Hawking eben.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The popular description of the modern view of the formation and evolution of the Universe, 12. April 2013
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Grand Design (Taschenbuch)
Stephen Hawking describes in simple and understandable way most fundamental problems of modern cosmology - the formation and evolution of the Universe, the role of the observer and its possible influence to the events.

Highly recommend to everyone who wants to understand the Universe, the life, and our position in the Universe.
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