Review: The Grand Design

February 16, 2011

The Grand DesignThe Grand Design by Stephen W. Hawking

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book makes for a very easy reading in spite of the topic involved. The authors do not get into any maths or more complex arguments. Also there are a no of pictures/illustrations which smoothen the reader’s flow and provide welcome breaks. Thus, its easy to understand.

The key takeaway is the concept of model-dependent reality. Its a concept more out of a psychology or Buddhism/Hinduism or existentialism rather than hard core physics. The M Theory is not really described in any detail or with rigor. Counterarguments and supporting data is also missing though the authors claim that the theory is testable. Thus, it would be more interesting to see if other physicists adopt the idea of model-dependent reality and come up with other theories rather than to see how they respond to M Theory.

On the whole a very readable book. Well worth the read just for its description of works of Einstein and Feynman. The authors have to be congratulated for conveying the core ideas with such simplicity and brevity.

Also inspired me to re-look at the daunting task of reading the Road to Reality by Roger Penrose  🙂

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