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A Universe from Nothing

Why There is Something Rather than Nothing

By Lawrence M. Krauss
15-minute read
Audio available
A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss

Krauss describes the new scientific theories and observations that demonstrate how the universe could have spontaneously arisen from nothing. He makes the case that this is not only plausible, but inevitable. Krauss presents evidence to show how the universe began and evolved, and theorizes about its ultimate end.

  • Anyone who wants to understand the origins of the universe

  • Anyone who wants to understand the scientific counter-argument to the divine creator (God) explanation

  • Anyone who wants to understand where the universe came from, why it is the way it is, and what will happen to it in the future

  • Anyone who wants to understand the past century’s major developments in cosmology

 

Lawrence M. Krauss is a cosmologist and theoretical physicist who has written a number of bestselling popular science books. He is best known for his commitment to the public understanding of science and for his contributions to cosmology, particularly regarding the ideas of dark matter and dark energy.

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A Universe from Nothing

Why There is Something Rather than Nothing

By Lawrence M. Krauss
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
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A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss
Synopsis

Krauss describes the new scientific theories and observations that demonstrate how the universe could have spontaneously arisen from nothing. He makes the case that this is not only plausible, but inevitable. Krauss presents evidence to show how the universe began and evolved, and theorizes about its ultimate end.

Key idea 1 of 10

Einstein’s theory of relativity linked space and time into spacetime, and showed that massive objects could distort it.

For centuries, Newton’s theory of gravity was thought adequate to explain the motion of all matter in our universe. But in the early 20th century, in order to explain the previously mysterious gravitational behavior of very large and very distant objects, Einstein published his theory of relativity. The theory (made up of the theories special and general relativity), revolutionized physics and allowed cosmologists to examine and understand our universe in completely new ways.

Special relativity is Einstein’s theory about the structure of spacetime. It established that space and time are not discrete entities but are interlinked so that the speed at which time passes is relative to the speed at which an object moves. The theory also postulates that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.

Special relativity also demonstrated that matter and energy are interchangeable. Matter can turn into energy and vice versa, as described by the famous equation E=mc2.

General relativity is Einstein’s theory of gravitation, which showed that massive objects distort spacetime. In the same way that a marble laid upon a very thin sheet of rubber causes the rubber to bend, heavy objects cause spacetime to bend. The larger the object, the more the rubber (or spacetime) around it bends and the more it pulls in surrounding objects.

This warping of spacetime is confirmed by a phenomenon called gravitational lensing: when light travels close to a massive object, such as a black hole, the spacetime “valley” created by the object can bend the light around the object. Astronomers use this method to study stars and galaxies behind massive objects.

Einstein’s theory of relativity linked space and time into spacetime, and showed that massive objects could distort it.

 

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