May 14, 2002
This long-awaited book from one of the world’s most respected scientists presents a series of dramatic discoveries never before made public. Starting from a collection of simple computer experiments – illustrated in the book by striking computer graphics – Stephen Wolfram shows how their unexpected results force a whole new way of looking at the operation of our universe.
Wolfram uses his approach to tackle a remarkable array of fundamental problems in science, from the origins of apparent randomness in physical systems, to the development of complexity in biology, the ultimate scope and limitations of mathematics, the possibility of a truly fundamental theory of physics, the interplay between free will and determinism, and the character of intelligence in the universe.
Written with exceptional clarity, and illustrated by nearly a thousand original pictures, this seminal book allows scientists and non-scientists alike to participate in what promises to be a major intellectual revolution.
Stephen Wolfram was born in London and educated at Eton, Oxford, and Caltech. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1979 at the age of 20, having already made lasting contributions to particle physics and cosmology. In 1981 his work was recognized by a MacArthur award. In the early 1980s he made a series of classic discoveries about systems known as cellular automata, which have yielded many new insights in physics, mathematics, computer science, biology and other fields. In 1986 he founded Wolfram Research, Inc. and began the creation of Mathematica, now the world’s leading software system for technical computing and symbolic programming, and the tool that made A New Kind of Science possible. Wolfram has divided his time between the leadership of his company and his pursuit of basic science.