The Book of Nothing by John D. Barrow
Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas About the Origins of the Universe

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



What conceptual blind spot kept the ancient Greeks (unlike the Indians and Maya) from developing a concept of zero? Why did St. Augustine equate nothingness with the Devil? What tortuous means did 17th-century scientists employ in their attempts to create a vacuum? And why do contemporary quantum physicists believe that the void is actually seething with subatomic activity? You’ll find the answers in this dizzyingly erudite and elegantly explained book by the English cosmologist John D. Barrow.

Ranging through mathematics, theology, philosophy, literature, particle physics, and cosmology, The Book of Nothing explores the enduring hold that vacuity has exercised on the human imagination. Combining high-wire speculation with a wealth of reference that takes in Freddy Mercury and Shakespeare alongside Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking, the result is a fascinating excursion to the vanishing point of our knowledge.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About John D. Barrow

See more books from this Author
John D. Barrow is a professor of mathematical sciences and director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at Cambridge University and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is known internationally for his research in cosmology and for his popular science writing. He lives in Cambridge, UK.
Published May 20, 2009 by Vintage. 384 pages
Genres: Science & Math, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Book of Nothing

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

for that, we need “other null mathematical entities” that embrace the concept of a set that has no numbers within it, and here and hereafter Barrow’s lightly borne argument takes a somewhat more technical turn, leading into still more difficult concepts of quantum physics, many having to do with ...

| Read Full Review of The Book of Nothing: Vacuums,...

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

After Karl Schwarzschild pointed out that the universe need not conform to Euclidean geometry, alternative models proliferated: Willem de Sitter, Georges Lemaître and the Russian mathematician Alexander Friedmann found ways to tweak the known variables to find possible universes.

| Read Full Review of The Book of Nothing: Vacuums,...

Reader Rating for The Book of Nothing

An aggregated and normalized score based on 26 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review