|Alma mater||Brandeis University
University of California, Berkeley
|Institutions||Max Planck Institute for Physics
California Institute of Technology
|Doctoral advisor||Eyvind Wichmann|
Mlodinow was born in Chicago, Illinois, of parents who were both Holocaust survivors. His father, who spent more than a year in the Buchenwald concentration camp, had been a leader in the Jewish resistance in his hometown of Częstochowa, in Nazi Germany-occupied Poland. As a child, Mlodinow was interested in both mathematics and chemistry, and while in high school was tutored in organic chemistry by a professor from the University of Illinois.
As recounted in his book, Feynman's Rainbow, his interest turned to physics during a semester he took off from college to spend on a kibbutz in Israel, during which he had little to do at night besides reading The Feynman Lectures on Physics, which was one of the few English books he found in the kibbutz library.
He completed a doctorate on quantum perturbation theory at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1981, and joined the faculty at Caltech. Later, he worked as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich, Germany.
By 1985, Mlodinow had left academia to become a writer. He has written books on popular science, and the screenplay for the 2009 film Beyond the Horizon and for television series including Star Trek: The Next Generation and MacGyver.
- Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior (ISBN 0-307-37821-7) Describes how things that we think are conscious, freely made choices, are in fact governed by our subconscious.
- The War of the Worldviews (ISBN 978-0-307-88688-0) with Deepak Chopra. From their contrasting scientific and spiritual perspectives, the two authors answer the big questions about the universe, consciousness, life, and God.
- The Grand Design (ISBN 0-553-80537-1) with Stephen Hawking. This book argues that invoking God is not necessary to explain the origins of the universe. It became a No. 1 New York Times bestseller.
- The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives (ISBN 0-375-42404-0), deals with randomness and people's inability to take it into account in their daily lives. The book was a "NY Times notable book of the year".
- A Briefer History of Time (ISBN 0-553-80436-7), with Stephen Hawking.
- Feynman's Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life (as published in USA) (ISBN 0-446-53045-X), is about his relationship with Richard Feynman and Richard Feynman's brilliance, during his post-doctoral years in Caltech, in the early eighties. The book offers an insight into Feynman's attitude towards physics and life, his relationship with Murray Gell-Mann and the rise of String Theory.
- Euclid's Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace (ISBN 0-684-86523-8) is a work on popular science that chronicles the idea of curved space and the history of geometry.
- The Kids of Einstein Elementary: Titanic Cat, co-authored with Matt Costello and Josh Nash (2004) (ISBN 0-439-53774-6)
- The Kids of Einstein Elementary: The Last Dinosaur, co-authored with Matt Costello and Josh Nash (2004) (ISBN 0-439-53773-8)
Awards and honors
- 2013 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, Subliminal 
- In 2008 the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSICOP) awarded Mlodinow the Robert P. Balles Prize for Critical Thinking for his book The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules our Lives
- Mlodinow, Leonard. "Leonard Mlodinow BIOGRAPHY". California Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on June 14, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
- "Point of Inquiry Nov 5 2013". Center for Inquiry.
- "The Large N Expansion In Quantum Mechanics". Leonard Mlodinow Thesis - University of California, Berkeley.
- "IMDB Beyond the Horizon". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- Carolyn Kellogg (August 14, 2013). "Jacket Copy: PEN announces winners of its 2013 awards". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
- Karr, Barry. "CSI's Balles Prize Goes to Physicist/Author Leonard Mlodinow". Skeptical Inquirer. CSICOP. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Leonard Mlodinow|
- Homepage of Leonard Mlodinow
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- PhysicsWeb Review of "Feynman's Rainbow"
- Library Cog Review of "Feynman's Rainbow"
- About the Authors of A Briefer History of Time – UC Berkeley
- About "The Grand Design"
- Fortune Magazine Review of The Drunkard's Walk
- NY Times Review of The Drunkard's Walk
- Barron's Book Review of The Drunkard's Walk