You are nothing. In fact, 99.9999999999999 percent of everything is made up of nothing. But despite that empty feeling you have, there is something—atoms, sure; the Higgs boson particle, likely—and the sum of those things coalesces into our beautiful universe. How everything became as it is—built up from zilch—is the basis of theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss’ new book, A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing. The roots of the book sprout from a lecture the Arizona State University professor gave in 2009; it became a YouTube hit due to Krauss’ brilliant way of handling difficult cosmological ideas with clear explanations and casual humor. “Forget Jesus,” Krauss said. “The stars died so you could be born.” Krauss lectures at 6:45 p.m. at the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium. $25. (Christopher Porter)
BOOKS & TALKS
Hit this up: Following tonight’s sold-out “Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity” event at George Washington University, Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West are scheduled to take the mic at Busboys & Poets on 14th Street NW for an informal “afterword” event. 10 p.m. Free.
Earlier tonight at yet another Busboys location, anti-consumerism activist Reverend Billy will be in the house discussing and signing The Reverend Billy Project, From Rehearsal Hall to Super Mall. 6:30 p.m. at 5th & K. Free.
And down the street, New York Times Washington correspondent Jodi Kantor is at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue talkin’ White House: She’ll be sharing her book, The Obamas, an in-depth glimpse into the first family, their significance, and their lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 7 p.m. $10 or $29.99 with book.