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Preface

Just over twenty years ago I made what at first seemed like a small discovery: a computer experiment of mine showed something I did not expect. But the more I investigated, the more I realized that what I had seen was the beginning of a crack in the very foundations of existing science, and a first clue towards a whole new kind of science.

This book is the culmination of nearly twenty years of work that I have done to develop that new kind of science. I had never expected it would take anything like as long, but I have discovered vastly more than I ever thought possible, and in fact what I have done now touches almost every existing area of science, and quite a bit besides.

In the early years, I did as I had done before as a scientist, and published accounts of my ongoing work in the scientific literature. But although what I wrote seemed to be very well received, I gradually came to realize that technical papers scattered across the journals of all sorts of fields could never successfully communicate the kind of major new intellectual structure that I seemed to be beginning to build.

So I resolved just to keep working quietly until I had finished, and was ready to present everything in a single coherent way. Fifteen years later this book is the result. And with it my hope is to share what I have done with as wide a range of scientists and non-scientists as possible.

In modern times it has been almost unheard of for genuinely new science to be presented for the first time in a book that can be read by non-scientists. For progress in science has mostly tended to take place

From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]