Knocking on Heaven's Door

  • by Lisa Randall
  • Narrated by Carrington MacDuffie
  • 14 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 Heaven's 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 Heaven's 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 Heaven's 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.


What the Critics Say

"This volume should appeal to experts and nonexperts alike intrigued by the latest scientific advances in our understanding of the cosmos." (Library Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Too Political

Would you try another book from Lisa Randall and/or Carrington MacDuffie?

I was enjoying this book even though it was a little dry and dragged in many areas. The subject was still interesting enough to keep my interest until I realized that the author had a political agenda and accented it with barbs about, for instance, Sarah Palin. Once I reached this realization I saw no reason to subject myself to such a book that I was only enjoying marginally to begin with. To be honest, I don't recommend this book because it doesn't really have anything origuinal to offer.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Carrington MacDuffie?

Yes, The narrator was quite talented

Did Knocking on Heaven's Door inspire you to do anything?

Yes, Stop reading it.

Any additional comments?

Keep politics out of your writing.

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- Allan

Mediocre and scattered. Read something else.

This is an unremarkable book that glams together a bunch of topics in modern science poorly. The beginning discussion of scale is interesting as the author notes that in physics, laws are rarely overturned universally, but adjustments need to be made at particular scale points at either very big or very small sizes. This was an nice way of summarizing the places where physics needs to be updated but much beyond this the book does nothing particularly well.

*The technical detail on the LHC is absolutely excessive. There is some commentary for the lay reader but wikipedia is probably a better resource.

*The puns are simply awful.

*The author seems to name-drop. I don't care about your personal relationship with the scientists you mention.

*Too many references to previous works. Please don't use your new book to sell your old one.

*Failure to do much mentioned in the subtitle.

After finishing this book and having some time to meditate on it, it was not worth the time nor money. Consider Lee Smolin's "The Trouble With Physics" for a much better exploration of current questions in physics.
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- Terry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-27-2011
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio