From the author of the classic work "Coming of Age in the Milky Way" comes an expansive, nontechnical account of the exciting developments that are putting cosmology in the headlines--the discovery of planets orbiting stars other than our sun, new images that reveal how the universe looked when it was young, and a theory that may provide the key ...
From the author of the classic work "Coming of Age in the Milky Way" comes an expansive, nontechnical account of the exciting developments that are putting cosmology in the headlines--the discovery of planets orbiting stars other than our sun, new images that reveal how the universe looked when it was young, and a theory that may provide the key to the riddle of genesis. Line drawings.
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Publishers Weekly, 1997-02-24 Scientists are fond of saying that nature is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. In this whimsically titled tour de force, Ferris (Coming of Age in the Milky Way) illustrates that maxim in a vivid and inviting way. He guides his readers through the field of cosmology, where scientists are forced to confront nature at its strangest, yet most profound and fundamental, level. There, physicists envision the universe as a 10-dimensional, ever-expanding entity out of which time and space, energy and matter emerge. It is a field that encompasses theories of the infinitesimally small, the incomprehensibly large and everything in between. Ferris takes us on journeys to black holes, which, though capturing any matter that strays within their "event horizons," are constantly evaporating in a quantum-mechanical haze of "virtual" particles that become tangible. He leads us through our universe, at least 90% of which is made of dark matter, detected only by its gravitational influence. He explores its structure-clusters of galaxies that form bubbles and huge voids hundreds of millions of light years in extent. Is this universe one of many that crystallized in a brief "inflationary" epoch? Is "quantum weirdness" an inescapable description of space-time and matter-energy; or is it a mystery to be unraveled? What are the implications of these discoveries and speculations for philosophy and theology? Ferris touches on all of these, leaving the reader gasping not for more answers but for more questions. BOMC split main selection; QPB and History Book Club alternate selections; Newbridge's Astronomy Book Club and Library of Science main selections. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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