Leonard Mlodinow: Physicist


Leonard Mlodinow is a professor of probability, statistics and random processes, at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech).  

Dr. Mlodinow received Bachelor’s degrees in math and physics, and a Master’s in physics, from Brandeis University.  His Ph.D. in physics came from the University of California, Berkeley.  He then became Bantrell Research Fellow in Theoretical Physics at CalTech, and then an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Germany.  After a number of years writing screenplays in Hollywood, he spent some time creating a series of award-winning videogames.  In 2005, he returned to CalTech to teach.

The books he has authored include:


“…[A] startling and eye-opening examination of how the unconscious mind shapes our experience of the world and how, for instance, we often misperceive our relationships with family, friends, and business associates, misunderstand the reasons for our investment decisions, and misremember important events.  Your preference in politicians, the amount you tip your waiter—all judgments and perceptions reflect the workings of our mind on two levels: the conscious, of which we are aware, and the unconscious, which is hidden from us. The latter has long been the subject of speculation, but over the past two decades researchers have developed remarkable new tools for probing the hidden, or subliminal, workings of the mind. The result of this explosion of research is a new science of the unconscious and a sea change in our understanding of how the subliminal mind affects the way we live.  Employing his trademark wit and lucid, accessible explanations of the most obscure scientific subjects, Leonard Mlodinow takes us on a tour of this research, unraveling the complexities of the subliminal self and increasing our understanding of how the human mind works and how we interact with friends, strangers, spouses, and coworkers. In the process he changes our view of ourselves and the world around us.

See, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, by Leonard Mlodinow (Pantheon 2012).



“When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation? In this startling and lavishly illustrated book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about these and other abiding mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by brilliance and simplicity.  According to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history. The authors explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. They conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a “theory of everything”: the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, which, if confirmed, would represent the ultimate triumph of human reason.”

See, The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow (Random House, 2012).