Grand theory

Throughout most of his career, physicist Stephen Hawking has strived for a theory of everything—a complete, integrated understanding of what makes the universe work, from the smallest of subatomic particles to the incomprehensibly massive expanse of the galaxies. In the first edition of his best-selling book A Brief History of Time, published in 1988, he declared that to achieve the discovery of this theory would be to “know the mind of God.”

Hawking’s own mind with respect to God is tightly intertwined with the history of the search for the grand theory. He has declared himself neither theist nor atheist. He prefers to refer to “God as the embodiment of the laws of physics.”


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