Cover image for How to love the universe : a scientist's odes to the hidden beauty behind the visible world / Stefan Klein.
How to love the universe : a scientist's odes to the hidden beauty behind the visible world / Stefan Klein.

Publication Information:
New York : The Experiment colophon, 2018.
Physical Description:
222 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.
General Note:
Originally published in German as: Das All und das Nichts (Frankfurt am Main : S. Fischer Verlag GmbH, 2017).
The poetry of reality -- A marble in the cosmos -- Riding on a ray of light -- The world spirit fails -- A crime story -- Is the world real? -- Whoever ordered that? -- How time passes -- Beyond the horizon -- Why we exist.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
523.1 KLE Book Adult General Collection

On Order



An eye-opening celebration of the marvels of space, time, the cosmos, and more

How to Love the Universe is a new kind of science writing by an author truly enamored of the world around him. In ten short chapters of lyrical prose--each one an ode to a breathtaking realm of discovery--Stefan Klein uses everyday objects and events as a springboard to meditate on the beauty of the underlying science.

Klein sees in a single rose the sublime interdependence of all life; a day of stormy weather points to the world's unpredictability; a marble conjures the birth of the cosmos. As he contemplates the deepest mysteries--the nature of reality, dark matter, humanity's place among the galaxies, and more--Klein encourages us to fall in love with the universe the way scientists do: with a grasp of the key ideas and theories of twenty-first-century physics that bring to life the wonders of, really, everything.

You won't look at a rose--or at our world--the same way again.

Author Notes

Stefan Klein , born in 1965 in Munich, is Germany's bestselling science author. His book The Science of Happiness was at the top of all German bestseller lists for more than a year. This was followed by the much-praised All by Chance, The Secret Pulse of Time, Leonardo's Legacy, We Are All Stardust, and Survival of the Nicest . His most recent bestseller Dreams , received the Deutsche Lesepreis 2016.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Traversing subjects from the earliest moments of the universe to the possibility of life on other planets, physicist Klein (The Science of Happiness) energetically invites readers "to let yourself be enthralled by the reality in which we live." The author breaks his work into 10 chapters suitable for reading straight through or dipping into at random. Consideration of the "visible world" introduces the Big Bang and cosmic expansion. From there, he invites readers to ponder a question along with the young Albert Einstein-"what would it be like to take a ride on a ray of light." Klein has a knack for mixing complex topics with more mundane images that bring those ideas into sharp focus. A hypothetical robbery investigation, for example, introduces probability and quantum entanglement. Cosmic inflation and warped space, the measurement of time, and the search for dark energy are all examined in thoughtful, accessible language that brings ideas to vivid life. Klein's latest work encourages readers to think, consider, and give in to scientific fascination. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Who, or what can guarantee that the world is more than just imagination? This book by Klein (The Science of Happiness) answers this question and more, starting with the edges of the big bang and working inward to the concept of light and why humans exist. However, in the -order presented, the narrative gives a greater picture of the known universe, including planets, life on Earth, and even matter. Klein combines personal experience with the writings and research of scientists such as Albert Einstein, physicists and astronomers Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan, as well as the insight of philosopher and cosmological theorist Giordano Bruno. VERDICT Klein sets forth to share the poetry of the universe and succeeds, offering a grounding in the science and beauty that comprises the world around us. The text is easily attainable to casual readers and scientists alike, and will help both to understand the universe better.-Dawn -Lowe-Wincentsen, Oregon Inst. of Technology, Portland © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 The Poetry of Realityp. 1
A rose makes us aware that nothing and nobody stands alone.
The more we know about how things in the universe relate to each other, the more mysterious the world seems to us.
2 A Marble in the Cosmosp. 11
The earth rises over the moon and we see the universe as it is being born. Much greater spaces are concealed behind the visible cosmos.
Reality is quite different from how it seems to us.
3 Riding on a Ray of Lightp. 27
A young man wonders what light is, and his reflections on light explain the world to him. Time and space are revealed. But when Albert Einstein dies, light is still a mystery.
4 The World Spirit Failsp. 45
A hurricane sweeps across Germany, a storm no one saw coming.
Reasons why the world is unpredictable, and praise for the creative universe.
5 A Crime Storyp. 67
A villainous gang is raiding apartments in London and New York.
Although the burglars were not able to arrange things with each other, their raids are perfectly coordinated.
Investigator Glock is looking for a secret plan, but cannot find one. His conclusion: All the places in the world are, in reality, one place.
6 Is the World Real?p. 97
A hammer hits a thumb. But the hammer, like all matter, consists of emptiness.
How can nothingness hurt like that? And then-does the nothingness exist at all?
7 "Who Ordered That?"p. 115
We live in a shadow world. No matter where we look, there is twenty times more than appears to us. More of what? We have no idea. But without dark energy, without dark matter, we couldn't exist.
8 How Time Passesp. 135
A greying beard makes you wonder why the past can never come back. We experience the passing of time because we are not omniscient.
The universe is growing older, as well.
9 Beyond the Horizonp. 155
The night is dark because the world had a beginning.
Since then the universe has been expanding.
Space is bigger than we can imagine.
Thoughts on being amazed.
10 Why We Existp. 175
In each of us one of the most astonishing characteristics of the universe appears: Intelligent life is not only possible but even probable.
How can anyone maintain, therefore, that we are meaningless?
Notesp. 197
Acknowledgmentsp. 223
About the Authorp. 230