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The End of Everything

Author : Katie Mack
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2020-08-04
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781982103569

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Book The End of Everything Description/Summary:

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020 NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY * THE WASHINGTON POST * THE ECONOMIST * NEW SCIENTIST * PUBLISHERS WEEKLY * THE GUARDIAN From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an “engrossing, elegant” (The New York Times) look at five ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in cosmology. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now? Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was a young student, when her astronomy professor informed her the universe could end at any moment, in an instant. This revelation set her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she takes us on a mind-bending tour through five of the cosmos’s possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay (the one that could happen at any moment!), and the Bounce. Guiding us through cutting-edge science and major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.

The End of Everything

Author : Katie Mack
Publisher : Penguin UK
Release : 2020-08-04
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780241372340

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Book The End of Everything Description/Summary:

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE ECONOMIST, OBSERVER, NEW SCIENTIST, BBC FOCUS, INDEPENDENT AND WASHINGTON POST 'A rollicking tour of the wildest physics. . . Like an animated discussion with your favourite quirky and brilliant professor' Leah Crane, New Scientist 'Weird science, explained beautifully' - John Scalzi We know the universe had a beginning. But what happens at the end of the story? With lively wit and wry humour, astrophysicist Katie Mack takes us on a mind-bending tour through each of the cosmos' possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, Vacuum Decay, the Big Rip and the Bounce. Guiding us through major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory and much more, she describes how small tweaks to our incomplete understanding of reality can result in starkly different futures. Our universe could collapse in upon itself, or rip itself apart, or even - in the next five minutes - succumb to an inescapable expanding bubble of doom. This captivating story of cosmic escapism examines a mesmerizing yet unfamiliar physics landscape while sharing the excitement a leading astrophysicist feels when thinking about the universe and our place in it. Amid stellar explosions and bouncing universes, Mack shows that even though we puny humans have no chance of changing how it all ends, we can at least begin to understand it. The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.

The End of Everything

Author : Katie Mack
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2021-05-04
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781982103552

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Book The End of Everything Description/Summary:

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020 NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY * THE WASHINGTON POST * THE ECONOMIST * NEW SCIENTIST * PUBLISHERS WEEKLY * THE GUARDIAN From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an “engrossing, elegant” (The New York Times) look at five ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in cosmology. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now? Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was a young student, when her astronomy professor informed her the universe could end at any moment, in an instant. This revelation set her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she takes us on a mind-bending tour through five of the cosmos’s possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay (the one that could happen at any moment!), and the Bounce. Guiding us through cutting-edge science and major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.

The Beginning and the End of Everything

Author : Paul Parsons
Publisher : Michael O'Mara Books
Release : 2018-11-01
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781782439660

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Book The Beginning and the End of Everything Description/Summary:

'Prepare to have your mind blown! A brilliantly written overview of the past, present and future of modern cosmology.' - DALLAS CAMPBELL, author of Ad Astra The Beginning and the End of Everything is the whole story as we currently understand it - from nothing, to the birth of our universe, to its ultimate fate. Authoritative and engaging, Paul Parsons takes us on a rollercoaster ride through billions of light years to tell the story of the Big Bang, from birth to death. 13.8 billion years ago, something incredible happened. Matter, energy, space and time all suddenly burst into existence in a cataclysmic event that's come to be known as the Big Bang. It was the birth of our universe. What started life smaller than the tiniest subatomic particle is now unimaginably vast and plays home to trillions of galaxies. The formulation of the Big Bang theory is a story that combines some of the most far-reaching concepts in fundamental physics with equally profound observations of the cosmos. From our realization that we are on a planet orbiting a star in one of many galaxies, to the discovery that our universe is expanding, to the groundbreaking theories of Einstein that laid the groundwork for the Big Bang cosmology of today - as each new discovery deepens our understanding of the origins of our universe, a clearer picture is forming of how it will all end. Will we ultimately burn out or fade away? Could the end simply signal a new beginning, as the universe rebounds into a fresh expanding phase? And was our Big Bang just one of many, making our cosmos only a small part of a sprawling multiverse of parallel universes?

How to Build a Universe

Author : Brian Cox,Robin Ince,Alexandra Feachem
Publisher : William Collins
Release : 2018-06-05
Category : Humor
ISBN : 0008276102

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Book How to Build a Universe Description/Summary:

Radio tie-in with BBC Radio 4 programme The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Death from the Skies!

Author : Philip C. Plait
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2008
Category : Science
ISBN : 0670019976

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Book Death from the Skies! Description/Summary:

It's only a matter of time before a cosmic disaster spells the end of the Earth. But how concerned should we about about any of these catastrophic scenarios? And if they do post a danger, can anything be done to stop them?

The Sirens of Mars

Author : Sarah Stewart Johnson
Publisher : Crown
Release : 2020-07-07
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781101904824

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Book The Sirens of Mars Description/Summary:

“Sarah Stewart Johnson interweaves her own coming-of-age story as a planetary scientist with a vivid history of the exploration of Mars in this celebration of human curiosity, passion, and perseverance.”—Alan Lightman, author of Einstein’s Dreams WINNER OF THE PHI BETA KAPPA AWARD FOR SCIENCE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Times (UK) • Library Journal “Lovely . . . Johnson’s prose swirls with lyrical wonder, as varied and multihued as the apricot deserts, butterscotch skies and blue sunsets of Mars.”—Anthony Doerr, The New York Times Book Review Mars was once similar to Earth, but today there are no rivers, no lakes, no oceans. Coated in red dust, the terrain is bewilderingly empty. And yet multiple spacecraft are circling Mars, sweeping over Terra Sabaea, Syrtis Major, the dunes of Elysium, and Mare Sirenum—on the brink, perhaps, of a staggering find, one that would inspire humankind as much as any discovery in the history of modern science. In this beautifully observed, deeply personal book, Georgetown scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson tells the story of how she and other researchers have scoured Mars for signs of life, transforming the planet from a distant point of light into a world of its own. Johnson’s fascination with Mars began as a child in Kentucky, turning over rocks with her father and looking at planets in the night sky. She now conducts fieldwork in some of Earth’s most hostile environments, such as the Dry Valleys of Antarctica and the salt flats of Western Australia, developing methods for detecting life on other worlds. Here, with poetic precision, she interlaces her own personal journey—as a female scientist and a mother—with tales of other seekers, from Percival Lowell, who was convinced that a utopian society existed on Mars, to Audouin Dollfus, who tried to carry out astronomical observations from a stratospheric balloon. In the process, she shows how the story of Mars is also a story about Earth: This other world has been our mirror, our foil, a telltale reflection of our own anxieties and yearnings. Empathetic and evocative, The Sirens of Mars offers an unlikely natural history of a place where no human has ever set foot, while providing a vivid portrait of our quest to defy our isolation in the cosmos.

The Physics Book

Author : DK
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2020-03-10
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780744022254

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Book The Physics Book Description/Summary:

Explore the laws and theories of physics in this accessible introduction to the forces that shape our universe, our planet, and our everyday lives. Using a bold, graphics-led approach, The Physics Book sets out more than 80 of the key concepts and discoveries that have defined the subject and influenced our technology since the beginning of time. With the focus firmly on unpacking the thought behind each theory-as well as exploring when and how each idea and breakthrough came about-five themed chapters examine the history and developments in specific areas such as Light, Sound, and Electricity. Eureka moments abound: from Archimedes' bathtub discoveries about displacement and density, and Galileo's experiments with spheres falling from the Tower of Pisa, to Isaac Newton's apple and his conclusions about gravity and the laws of motion. You'll also learn about Albert Einstein's revelations about relativity; how the accidental discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation confirmed the Big Bang theory; the search for the Higgs boson particle; and why most of the universe is missing. If you've ever wondered exactly how physicists formulated-and proved-their abstract concepts, The Physics Book is the book for you. Series Overview: Big Ideas Simply Explained series uses creative design and innovative graphics along with straightforward and engaging writing to make complex subjects easier to understand. With over 7 million copies worldwide sold to date, these award-winning books provide just the information needed for students, families, or anyone interested in concise, thought-provoking refreshers on a single subject.

Particle Physics

Author : Brian R. Martin,Graham Shaw
Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
Release : 2013-03-22
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781118681664

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Book Particle Physics Description/Summary:

An essential introduction to particle physics, with coverage ranging from the basics through to the very latest developments, in an accessible and carefully structured text. Particle Physics: Third Edition is a revision of a highly regarded introduction to particle physics. In its two previous editions this book has proved to be an accessible and balanced introduction to modern particle physics, suitable for those students needed a more comprehensive introduction to the subject than provided by the ‘compendium’ style physics books. In the Third Edition the standard model of particle physics is carefully developed whilst unnecessary mathematical formalism is avoided where possible. Emphasis is placed on the interpretation of experimental data in terms of the basic properties of quarks and leptons. One of the major developments of the past decade has been the establishing of the existence of neutrino oscillations. This will have a profound effect on the plans of experimentalists. This latest edition brings the text fully up-to-date, and includes new sections on neutrino physics, as well as expanded coverage of detectors, such as the LHC detector. End of chapter problems with a full set of hints for their solutions provided at the end of the book. An accessible and carefully structured introduction to this demanding subject. Includes more advanced material in optional ‘starred’ sections. Coverage of the foundations of the subject, as well as the very latest developments.

Space at the Speed of Light

Author : Dr. Becky Smethurst
Publisher : Ten Speed Press
Release : 2020-06-02
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781984858702

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Book Space at the Speed of Light Description/Summary:

From the big bang to black holes, this fast-paced illustrated tour of time and space for the astro-curious unlocks the science of the stars to reveal fascinating theories, surprising discoveries, and ongoing mysteries in modern astronomy and astrophysics. Before the big bang, time, space, and matter didn't exist. In the 14 billion years since, scientists have pointed their telescopes upward, peering outward in space and backward in time, developing and refining theories to explain the weird and wonderful phenomena they observed. Through these observations, we now understand concepts like the size of the universe (still expanding), the distance to the next-nearest star from earth (Alpha Centauri, 26 trillion miles) and what drives the formation of elements (nuclear fusion), planets and galaxies (gravity), and black holes (gravitational collapse). But are these cosmological questions definitively answered or is there more to discover? Oxford University astrophysicist and popular YouTube personality Dr. Becky Smethurst presents everything you need to know about the universe in ten accessible and engagingly illustrated lessons. In Space at the Speed of Light: The History of 14 Billion Years for People Short on Time, she guides you through fundamental questions, both answered and unanswered, posed by space scientists. Why does gravity matter? How do we know the big bang happened? What is dark matter? Do aliens exist? Why is the sky dark at night? If you have ever looked up at night and wondered how it all works, you will find answers--and many more questions--in this pocket-sized tour of the universe!

Until the End of Time

Author : Brian Greene
Publisher : Vintage
Release : 2020-02-18
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781524731687

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Book Until the End of Time Description/Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A captivating exploration of deep time and humanity's search for purpose, from the world-renowned physicist and best-selling author of The Elegant Universe. "Few humans share Greene’s mastery of both the latest cosmological science and English prose." —The New York Times Until the End of Time is Brian Greene's breathtaking new exploration of the cosmos and our quest to find meaning in the face of this vast expanse. Greene takes us on a journey from the big bang to the end of time, exploring how lasting structures formed, how life and mind emerged, and how we grapple with our existence through narrative, myth, religion, creative expression, science, the quest for truth, and a deep longing for the eternal. From particles to planets, consciousness to creativity, matter to meaning—Brian Greene allows us all to grasp and appreciate our fleeting but utterly exquisite moment in the cosmos.

Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space

Author : Janna Levin
Publisher : Anchor
Release : 2016-03-29
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780307958204

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Book Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space Description/Summary:

The authoritative story of the headline-making discovery of gravitational waves—by an eminent theoretical astrophysicist and award-winning writer. From the author of How the Universe Got Its Spots and A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, the epic story of the scientific campaign to record the soundtrack of our universe. Black holes are dark. That is their essence. When black holes collide, they will do so unilluminated. Yet the black hole collision is an event more powerful than any since the origin of the universe. The profusion of energy will emanate as waves in the shape of spacetime: gravitational waves. No telescope will ever record the event; instead, the only evidence would be the sound of spacetime ringing. In 1916, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, his top priority after he proposed his theory of curved spacetime. One century later, we are recording the first sounds from space, the soundtrack to accompany astronomy’s silent movie. In Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space, Janna Levin recounts the fascinating story of the obsessions, the aspirations, and the trials of the scientists who embarked on an arduous, fifty-year endeavor to capture these elusive waves. An experimental ambition that began as an amusing thought experiment, a mad idea, became the object of fixation for the original architects—Rai Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Ron Drever. Striving to make the ambition a reality, the original three gradually accumulated an international team of hundreds. As this book was written, two massive instruments of remarkably delicate sensitivity were brought to advanced capability. As the book draws to a close, five decades after the experimental ambition began, the team races to intercept a wisp of a sound with two colossal machines, hoping to succeed in time for the centenary of Einstein’s most radical idea. Janna Levin’s absorbing account of the surprises, disappointments, achievements, and risks in this unfolding story offers a portrait of modern science that is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The Shadow of the Black Hole

Author : John W. Moffat
Publisher : Oxford University Press
Release : 2020-06-16
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780190650735

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Book The Shadow of the Black Hole Description/Summary:

Black holes entered the world of science fiction and films in the 1960s, and their popularity in our culture remains today. The buzz surrounding black holes was and is due, in large part, to their speculative nature. It is still difficult for the general public to determine fact versus fiction as it pertains to this terrifying idea: something big enough to swallow anything and everything in close proximity, with a gravitational force so strong that nothing, including light, can escape. In the fall of 2015, scientists at the Laser Interferometry Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected the first sounds from black holes, brought to earth by the gravitational waves that emitted from the merging of two black holes 1.4 billion light years away in space. This confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, which Albert Einstein predicted in 1916. In the spring of 2017, physicists and astronomers who were working on the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project captured the first image of a black hole. This was the supermassive black hole hosted by the galaxy M87 in the constellation Virgo, 53 million light years away, and the image shows the shadow the black hole casts upon the bright light surrounding it. In this book, John Moffat shares the history of black holes and presents the latest research into these mysterious celestial objects, including the astounding results from gravitational wave detection and the shadow of the black hole.

How to Die in Space

Author : Paul Sutter
Publisher : Pegasus Books
Release : 2020-06-02
Category : Science
ISBN : 1643134388

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Book How to Die in Space Description/Summary:

So you’ve fallen in love with space and now you want to see it for yourself, huh? You want to witness the birth of a star, or visit the black hole at the center of our galaxy? You want to know if there are aliens out there, or how to travel through a wormhole? You want the wonders of the universe revealed before your very eyes? Well stop, because all that will probably kill you. From mundane comets in our solar backyard to exotic remnants of the Big Bang, from dying stars to young galaxies, the universe may be beautiful, but it’s treacherous. Through metaphors and straightforward language, it breathes life into astrophysics, unveiling how particles and forces and fields interplay to create the drama in the heavens above us.

The Milky Way

Author : Moiya McTier
Publisher : Hachette UK
Release : 2022-08-16
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781538754177

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Book The Milky Way Description/Summary:

Astrophysicist and folklorist Dr. Moiya McTier channels The Milky Way in this approachable and utterly fascinating autobiography of the titular galaxy, detailing what humans have discovered about everything from its formation to its eventual death, and what more there is to learn about this galaxy we call home. After a few billion years of bearing witness to life on Earth, of watching one hundred billion humans go about their day-to-day lives, of feeling unbelievably lonely, and of hearing its own story told by others, The Milky Way would like a chance to speak for itself. All one hundred billion stars and fifty undecillion tons of gas of it. It all began some thirteen billion years ago, when clouds of gas scattered through the universe's primordial plasma just could not keep their metaphorical hands off each other. They succumbed to their gravitational attraction, and the galaxy we know as the Milky Way was born. Since then, the galaxy has watched as dark energy pushed away its first friends, as humans mythologized its name and purpose, and as galactic archaeologists have worked to determine its true age (rude). The Milky Way has absorbed supermassive (an actual technical term) black holes, made enemies of a few galactic neighbors, and mourned the deaths of countless stars. Our home galaxy has even fallen in love. After all this time, the Milky Way finally feels that it's amassed enough experience for the juicy tell-all we've all been waiting for. Its fascinating autobiography recounts the history and future of the universe in accessible but scientific detail, presenting a summary of human astronomical knowledge thus far that is unquestionably out of this world.

At the Edge of Time

Author : Dan Hooper
Publisher : Princeton University Press
Release : 2021-04-06
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780691206424

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Book At the Edge of Time Description/Summary:

A new look at the first few seconds after the Big Bang—and how research into these moments continues to revolutionize our understanding of our universe Scientists in recent decades have made crucial discoveries about how our cosmos evolved over the past 13.8 billion years. But we still know little about what happened in the first seconds after the Big Bang. At the Edge of Time focuses on what we have learned and are striving to understand about this mysterious period at the beginning of cosmic history. Delving into the remarkable science of cosmology, Dan Hooper describes many of the extraordinary questions that scientists are asking about the origin and nature of our world. Hooper examines how the Large Hadron Collider and other experiments re-create the conditions of the Big Bang, how we may finally discover the way dark matter was formed during our universe’s first moments, and how, with new telescopes, we are lifting the veil on the era of cosmic inflation. At the Edge of Time presents an accessible investigation of our universe and its birth.

Light in the Darkness

Author : Heino Falcke
Publisher : HarperCollins
Release : 2021-05-04
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780063020078

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Book Light in the Darkness Description/Summary:

The International Bestseller On April 10, 2019, award-winning astrophysicist Heino Falcke presented the first image ever captured of a black hole at an international press conference—a turning point in astronomy that Science magazine called the scientific breakthrough of the year. That photo was captured with the unthinkable commitment of an intercontinental team of astronomers who transformed the world into a global telescope. While this image achieved Falcke’s goal in making a black hole “visible” for the first time, he recognizes that the photo itself asks more questions for humanity than it answers. Light in the Darkness takes us on Falcke’s extraordinary journey to the darkest corners of the universe. From the first humans looking up at the night sky to modern astrophysics, from the study of black holes to the still-unsolved mysteries of the universe, Falcke asks, in even the greatest triumphs of science, is there room for doubts, faith, and a God? A plea for curiosity and humility, Light in the Darkness sees one of the great minds shaping the world today as he ponders the big, pressing questions that present themselves when we look up at the stars.

The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book

Author : Logan Smalley,Stephanie Kent
Publisher : Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Release : 2020-10-13
Category : Literary Criticism
ISBN : 9781982140588

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Book The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book Description/Summary:

For fans of My Ideal Bookshelf and Bibliophile, The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is the perfect gift for book lovers everywhere: a quirky and entertaining interactive guide to reading, featuring voicemails, literary Easter eggs, checklists, and more, from the creators of the popular multimedia project. The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is an interactive illustrated homage to the beautiful ways in which books bring meaning to our lives and how our lives bring meaning to books. Carefully crafted in the style of a retro telephone directory, this guide offers you a variety of unique ways to connect with readers, writers, bookshops, and life-changing stories. In it, you’ll discover... -Heartfelt, anonymous voicemail messages and transcripts from real-life readers sharing unforgettable stories about their most beloved books. You’ll hear how a mother and daughter formed a bond over their love for Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, or how a reader finally felt represented after reading Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, or how two friends performed Mary Oliver’s Thirst to a grove of trees, or how Anne Frank inspired a young writer to continue journaling. -Hidden references inside fictional literary adverts like Ahab’s Whale Tours and Miss Ophelia’s Psychic Readings, and real-life literary landmarks like Maya Angelou City Park and the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum. -Lists of bookstores across the USA, state by state, plus interviews with the book lovers who run them. -Various invitations to become a part of this book by calling and leaving a bookish voicemail of your own. -And more! Quirky, nostalgic, and full of heart, The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book is a love letter to the stories that change us, connect us, and make us human.

This Way to the Universe

Author : Michael Dine
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2022-02-08
Category : Science
ISBN : 9780593184646

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Book This Way to the Universe Description/Summary:

For readers of Sean Carroll, Brian Greene, Katie Mack, and anyone who wants to know what theoretical physicists actually do. This Way to the Universe is a celebration of the astounding, ongoing scientific investigations that have revealed the nature of reality at its smallest, at its largest, and at the scale of our daily lives. The enigmas that Professor Michael Dine discusses are like landmarks on a fantastic journey to the edge of the universe. Asked where to find out about the Big Bang, Dark Matter, the Higgs boson particle—the long cutting edge of physics right now—Dine had no single book he could recommend. This is his accessible, authoritative, and up-to-date answer. Comprehensible to anyone with a high-school level education, with almost no equations, there is no better author to take you on this amazing odyssey. Dine is widely recognized as having made profound contributions to our understanding of matter, time, the Big Bang, and even what might have come before it. This Way to the Universe touches on many emotional, critical points in his extraordinary carreer while presenting mind-bending physics like his answer to the Dark Matter and Dark Energy mysteries as well as the ideas that explain why our universe consists of something rather than nothing. People assume String Theory can never be tested, but Dine intrepidly explores exactly how the theory might be tested experimentally, as well as the pitfalls of falling in love with math. This book reflects a lifetime pursuing the deepest mysteries of reality, by one of the most humble and warmly engaging voices you will ever read.

Dark Matter and Dark Energy

Author : Brian Clegg
Publisher : Icon Books
Release : 2019-08-08
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781785785696

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Book Dark Matter and Dark Energy Description/Summary:

All the matter and light we can see in the universe makes up a trivial 5 per cent of everything. The rest is hidden. This could be the biggest puzzle that science has ever faced. Since the 1970s, astronomers have been aware that galaxies have far too little matter in them to account for the way they spin around: they should fly apart, but something concealed holds them together. That ’something' is dark matter – invisible material in five times the quantity of the familiar stuff of stars and planets. By the 1990s we also knew that the expansion of the universe was accelerating. Something, named dark energy, is pushing it to expand faster and faster. Across the universe, this requires enough energy that the equivalent mass would be nearly fourteen times greater than all the visible material in existence. Brian Clegg explains this major conundrum in modern science and looks at how scientists are beginning to find solutions to it.