Trespassing on Einstein's lawn: a father, a daughter, the meaning of nothing, and the beginning of everything

Book Cover
Average Rating
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Varies, see individual formats and editions
Pub. Date:
Varies, see individual formats and editions
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS In a memoir of family bonding and cutting-edge physics for readers of Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality and Jim Holt's Why Does the World Exist?, Amanda Gefter tells the story of how she conned her way into a career as a science journalist--and wound up hanging out, talking shop, and butting heads with the world's most brilliant minds. At a Chinese restaurant outside of Philadelphia, a father asks his fifteen-year-old daughter a deceptively simple question: "How would you define nothing?" With that, the girl who once tried to fail geometry as a conscientious objector starts reading up on general relativity and quantum mechanics, as she and her dad embark on a life-altering quest for the answers to the universe's greatest mysteries. Before Amanda Gefter became an accomplished science writer, she was a twenty-one-year-old magazine assistant willing to sneak her and her father, Warren, into a conference devoted to their physics hero, John Wheeler. Posing as journalists, Amanda and Warren met Wheeler, who offered them cryptic clues to the nature of reality: The universe is a self-excited circuit, he said. And, The boundary of a boundary is zero. Baffled, Amanda and Warren vowed to decode the phrases--and with them, the enigmas of existence. When we solve all that, they agreed, we'll write a book. Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn is that book, a memoir of the impassioned hunt that takes Amanda and her father from New York to London to Los Alamos. Along the way, they bump up against quirky science and even quirkier personalities, including Leonard Susskind, the former Bronx plumber who invented string theory; Ed Witten, the soft-spoken genius who coined the enigmatic M-theory; even Stephen Hawking. What they discover is extraordinary: the beginnings of a monumental paradigm shift in cosmology, from a single universe we all share to a splintered reality in which each observer has her own. Reality, the Gefters learn, is radically observer-dependent, far beyond anything of which Einstein or the founders of quantum mechanics ever dreamed--with shattering consequences for our understanding of the universe's origin. And somehow it all ties back to that conversation, to that Chinese restaurant, and to the true meaning of nothing. Throughout their journey, Amanda struggles to make sense of her own life--as her journalism career transforms from illusion to reality, as she searches for her voice as a writer, as she steps from a universe shared with her father to at last carve out one of her own. It's a paradigm shift you might call growing up. By turns hilarious, moving, irreverent, and profound, Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn weaves together story and science in remarkable ways. By the end, you will never look at the universe the same way again. Praise for Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn "Nothing quite prepared me for this book. Wow. Reading it, I alternated between depression--how could the rest of us science writers ever match this?--and exhilaration." -- Scientific American "To Do: Read Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn . Reality doesn't have to bite." -- New York "A zany superposition of genres . . . It's at once a coming-of-age chronicle and a father-daughter road trip to the far reaches of this universe and 10,500 others." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer
Also in This Series
More Like This
More Details
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 562c9bcb-e35a-9bbf-e885-8df75e05ea0f
Grouping Title trespassing on einstein s lawn a father a daughter the meaning of nothing and the beginning of every
Grouping Author gefter amanda
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2020-01-28 22:44:45PM
Last Indexed 2020-01-28 23:57:54PM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Gefter, Amanda.
author_display Gefter, Amanda
available_at_catalog Bellevue
Bellevue Kids
Hermitage Kids
Main Kids
Main Library
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Bellevue - Adult Non-Fiction
Hermitage - Adult Non-Fiction
Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
Thompson Lane - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description "Opening with the author's attempt to sneak herself and her father into a conference attended by the planet's great scientific thinkers (including Brian Greene, Max Tegmark, and coiner of the term "black hole" John Wheeler), Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn takes readers on an exhilarating and memorable journey to the mysterious heart of the universe"--
format_catalog Book
format_category_catalog Books
id 562c9bcb-e35a-9bbf-e885-8df75e05ea0f
isbn 9780345531438
Bib IdItem IdShelf LocCall NumFormatFormat CategoryNum CopiesIs Order ItemIs eContenteContent SourceeContent FileeContent URLsubformatDetailed StatusLast CheckinLocationSub-location
ils:CARL0000430334 35192045152182 Hermitage - Adult Non-Fiction 530.01 G299t 1 false false On Shelf HM
ils:CARL0000430334 35192045410788 Thompson Lane - Adult Non-Fiction 530.01 G299t 1 false false Checked Out TL
ils:CARL0000430334 35192045152174 Bellevue - Adult Non-Fiction 530.01 G299t 1 false false On Shelf BL
ils:CARL0000430334 35192045152190 Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction 530.01 G299t 1 false false On Shelf MN
overdrive:9b16fd78-40d5-4e30-9596-7a833b33a322 -1 Online OverDrive Collection Online OverDrive eBook eBook 1 false true OverDrive Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read Available Online
last_indexed 2020-01-29T05:57:54.692Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog 530.01 G299t
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Bellevue
Bellevue Kids
Hermitage Kids
Main Kids
Main Library
Thompson Lane
primary_isbn 9780345531438
publishDate 2014
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:CARL0000430334 Book Books English Bantam Books, [2014] 418 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
overdrive:9b16fd78-40d5-4e30-9596-7a833b33a322 eBook eBook English Random House Publishing Group 2014
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:CARL0000430334 35192045152182 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
ils:CARL0000430334 35192045410788 Checked Out Checked Out false false true false false true
ils:CARL0000430334 35192045152174 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
ils:CARL0000430334 35192045152190 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
overdrive:9b16fd78-40d5-4e30-9596-7a833b33a322 -1 Available Online Available Online false true true false false false
subject_facet Beginning
Gefter, Amanda -- Anecdotes
Physics -- Philosophy
Quantum theory
title_display Trespassing on Einstein's lawn : a father, a daughter, the meaning of nothing, and the beginning of everything
title_full Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything
Trespassing on Einstein's lawn : a father, a daughter, the meaning of nothing, and the beginning of everything / Amanda Gefter
title_short Trespassing on Einstein's lawn :
title_sub a father, a daughter, the meaning of nothing, and the beginning of everything
topic_facet Beginning
Biography & Autobiography
Gefter, Amanda
Quantum theory