Summary

Renowned Harvard physics professor Randall is one of those rare people who can be proclaimed among Time's "100 Most Influential People in the World" while also appearing in Rolling Stone's 40th anniversary issue. Here she doesn't just explain the latest ideas in science but also aims to clarify how scientists decide what to study, what they're deciding to study now, and how they go about doing it. Heady stuff for all your smart readers; books on physics do surprisingly well, as indicated by the 75,000-copy first printing.


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 Switzerland--as 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.