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The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Fascinating . . . One of the most important stories in the history of science.”— Washington Post

In recent years, a handful of scientists has been racing to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only 4 percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, and every star and planet. The rest is completely unknown.

Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of how scientists reached this cosmos-shattering conclusion. In vivid detail, he narrates the quest to find the “dark” matter and an even more bizarre substance called dark energy that make up 96 percent of the universe. This is perhaps the greatest mystery in all of science, and solving it will bring fame, funding, and certainly a Nobel Prize. Based on hundreds of interviews and in-depth, on-site reporting, the book offers an intimate portrait of the bitter rivalries and fruitful collaborations, the eureka moments and blind alleys, that have redefined science and reinvented the universe.

“A lively new account of twentieth-century (plus a little twenty-first-century) cosmology . . . The book is as much about how the science got done as about the science itself.”—Salon

Review:

"There has always been more to the universe than we can see. Science journalist Panek (The Invisible Century) offers an insider's view of the quest for what could be the ultimate revelation: the true substance of the unseen dark matter and energy that makes up some 96% of our universe. The search for these hidden elements began in the 1960s with astronomers asking whether the universe would end in an infinitely expanding 'Big Chill' or a collapse into a 'Big Crunch' — or whether the universe is a just-right 'Goldilocks' space that would nurture stars and galaxies forever. To answer this question, scientists calculated the universe's mass and discovered there was far more mass than we could see. But where is this 'missing mass' and what kind of exotic 'dark' stuff is it made of? Panek gleefully describes a 'Wild West of the mind, where resources were scarce, competition was fierce, and survival depended on small alliances of convenience, often enduring just long enough to publish a paper.' This lively story of big personalities, intellectual competitiveness, and ravenous curiosity is as entertaining as it is illuminating. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

Only four percent of the universe consists of the matter that makes up humans, the planet, and every star. The rest is completely unknown. Panek tells the dramatic story of the quest to find this dark matter and an even more bizarre substance called dark energy.

Synopsis:

An exciting look at the next big thing in cosmology--the search for dark matter and dark energy--and the making of an entirely new physics.

Synopsis:

The epic, behind-the-scenes story of an astounding gap in our scientific knowledge of the cosmos.

 

In the past few years, a handful of scientists have been in a race to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only 4 percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, our books, and every planet, star, and galaxy. The rest—96 percent of the universe—is completely unknown.

 

Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of how scientists reached this conclusion, and what theyre doing to find this "dark" matter and an even more bizarre substance called dark energy. Based on in-depth, on-site reporting and hundreds of interviews—with everyone from Berkeleys feisty Saul Perlmutter and Johns Hopkinss meticulous Adam Riess to the quietly revolutionary Vera Rubin—the book offers an intimate portrait of the bitter rivalries and fruitful collaborations, the eureka moments and blind alleys, that have fueled their search, redefined science, and reinvented the universe.

About the Author

RICHARD PANEK is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and the author of The Invisible Century and Seeing and Believing. He has frequently written for the New York Times, as well as Discover, Smithsonian, Esquire, and Outside, among other publications.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Prologue xiii

Part I. More Than Meets the Eye

 1. Let There Be Light 3

 2. Whats Out There 25

 3. Choosing Halos 41

Part II. Lo and Behold

 4. Getting in the Game 57

 5. Staying in the Game 77

 6. The Game 98

Part II. The Face of the Deep

 7. The Flat Universe Society 119

 8. Hello, Lambda 140

 9. The Tooth Fairy Twice 164

Part IV. Less Than Meets the Eye

 10. The Curse of the Bambino 183

 11. The Thing 203

 12. Must Come Down 219

Epilogue 239

Notes 244

Works Cited 264

Index 277

Product Details

ISBN:
9780618982448
Subtitle:
Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Author:
Panek, Richard
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
Cosmology
Subject:
Astronomy - General
Subject:
Astronomy - Universe
Subject:
Astrophysics & Space Science
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20110110
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.99 lb

Related Subjects

Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » Cosmology
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Cosmology

The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 320 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) - English 9780618982448 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "There has always been more to the universe than we can see. Science journalist Panek (The Invisible Century) offers an insider's view of the quest for what could be the ultimate revelation: the true substance of the unseen dark matter and energy that makes up some 96% of our universe. The search for these hidden elements began in the 1960s with astronomers asking whether the universe would end in an infinitely expanding 'Big Chill' or a collapse into a 'Big Crunch' — or whether the universe is a just-right 'Goldilocks' space that would nurture stars and galaxies forever. To answer this question, scientists calculated the universe's mass and discovered there was far more mass than we could see. But where is this 'missing mass' and what kind of exotic 'dark' stuff is it made of? Panek gleefully describes a 'Wild West of the mind, where resources were scarce, competition was fierce, and survival depended on small alliances of convenience, often enduring just long enough to publish a paper.' This lively story of big personalities, intellectual competitiveness, and ravenous curiosity is as entertaining as it is illuminating. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , Only four percent of the universe consists of the matter that makes up humans, the planet, and every star. The rest is completely unknown. Panek tells the dramatic story of the quest to find this dark matter and an even more bizarre substance called dark energy.
"Synopsis" by ,

An exciting look at the next big thing in cosmology--the search for dark matter and dark energy--and the making of an entirely new physics.

"Synopsis" by , The epic, behind-the-scenes story of an astounding gap in our scientific knowledge of the cosmos.

 

In the past few years, a handful of scientists have been in a race to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only 4 percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, our books, and every planet, star, and galaxy. The rest—96 percent of the universe—is completely unknown.

 

Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of how scientists reached this conclusion, and what theyre doing to find this "dark" matter and an even more bizarre substance called dark energy. Based on in-depth, on-site reporting and hundreds of interviews—with everyone from Berkeleys feisty Saul Perlmutter and Johns Hopkinss meticulous Adam Riess to the quietly revolutionary Vera Rubin—the book offers an intimate portrait of the bitter rivalries and fruitful collaborations, the eureka moments and blind alleys, that have fueled their search, redefined science, and reinvented the universe.

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