"A memory nagged at the back of his mind. Eric had once talked about how all observations in quantum theory were fundamentally unpredicable ('indeterminate' had been the word he'd used). Physicists could only calculate the probability of a particular result, and only in special situations was the probability a certainty" (268).
Interestingly, Stephen Hawking spent a fair amount of the early part of The Grand Design explaining this same point to a mostly adult readership, and I think it was only when I read George's succinct representation and then discussed it with my nine year old daughter, with whom I was reading George and the Big Bang, that I felt I truly understood it.
Interspersed between the narrative are a series of essays written by well-known scientists, including Stephen Hawking himself on the creation of the universe, Michael Turner on dark matter and dark energy, Paul Davies on the use of maths in understanding the universe, and Kip Thorne on wormholes and time travel. Each of these essays are not only written in beautifully crisp, clear language, but are also absolutely up to the minute with the latest theories and ideas, and therefore rather exciting. They come into the story at exactly the point when George is dealing with these notions fictionally. In addition to the essays there are also shorter tidbits of information, as with all the George books, providing information on a whole range of topics, from the Theory of Everything to Andromeda, to singularities. There's even a chapter on M-Theory.
The book contains charming illustrations by Garry Parsons and three sections of colour plates which make this a rather attractive gift book and add to the appeal for children. A book like this could spark a love of science that might last a lifetime, but even at its simplest level, it's a great story. For those who are meeting George for the first time, the book is self-contained and provides enough background so that new readers won't be perplexed. For those already a fan of the George stories, this new book won't disappoint. Either way, it's a fun filled ride full of drama, action, and above all, discovery.