Image: Hawking
Cancan Chu  /  Getty Images file
Physicist Stephen Hawking, shown here during a string theory conference in Beijing in June, is starting work on a new book titled "The Grand Design." His publisher says the book will tackle questions surrounding the origin of the universe and the nature of the laws of physics.
updated 10/4/2006 1:36:20 PM ET 2006-10-04T17:36:20

Stephen Hawking, the Cambridge University physicist who wrote the best-selling “A Brief History of Time,” is to start work on a new book that will examine how and why the universe was created.

“The Grand Design,” which is expected to be released in the fall of 2008, will be co-written by Leonard Mlodinow, a physicist and author who collaborated with Hawking on “A Briefer History of Time,” which was published last year.

Publisher Irwyn Applebaum of Bantam Dell Publishing Group said the experience of the co-authors working on the reader-friendly “Briefer History” motivated them to work together again.

“‘The Grand Design’ tackles the question of why there is a universe, looking at both the origin of the universe and the deeper issues of why the laws of physics are what they are,” Applebaum told Reuters.

Hawking, 64, a Cambridge University physicist who has a crippling muscle disease and is confined to a wheelchair, has written several books that examine the origins of the universe, and what the future holds.

“A Brief History of Time,” published in 1988, spent 72 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

Hawking is also working on a series of children’s books with his daughter Lucy, the first of which is due to be published next year.

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