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Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bangby Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok
Synopses & Reviews
Two world-renowned scientists present an audacious new vision of the cosmos that “steals the thunder from the Big Bang theory.” —Wall Street Journal
The Big Bang theory, widely regarded as the leading explanation for the origin of the universe, posits that space and time sprang into being about 14 billion years ago in a hot, expanding fireball of nearly infinite density. Over the last three decades the theory has been repeatedly revised to address such issues as how galaxies and stars first formed and why the expansion of the universe is speeding up today. Furthermore, an explanation has yet to be found for what caused the Big Bang in the first place.
In Endless Universe, Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok, both distinguished theoretical physicists, present a bold new cosmology. Steinhardt and Turok “contend that what we think of as the moment of creation was simply part of an infinite cycle of titanic collisions between our universe and a parallel world” (Discover). They recount the remarkable developments in astronomy, particle physics, and superstring theory that form the basis for their groundbreaking “Cyclic Universe” theory. According to this theory, the Big Bang was not the beginning of time but the bridge to a past filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution, each accompanied by the creation of new matter and the formation of new galaxies, stars, and planets.
Endless Universe provides answers to longstanding problems with the Big Bang model, while offering a provocative new view of both the past and the future of the cosmos. It is a “theory that could solve the cosmic mystery” (USA Today).
"As has happened many times in the history of science, just when we finally are able to cozy up to an idea like the big bang that initially was hard to like, let alone understand, another even more mind-bending one comes along. Steinhardt and Turok, cosmologists at Princeton and Cambridge, respectively, present their case that string theory gives a more complete account of our origins; in this account, the big bang came about through the collision of two membrane-thick strings called 'branes.' Our universe sits on one brane, which floats parallel to the other, unseen one. Every few trillion years, the two branes approach each other; when they collide, a flash of radiation annihilates everything in both, kick-starting the creation process all over again. According to the authors, this solves certain problems with the standard big bang theory, such as inflation, dark matter and dark energy. General readers will be able to follow the authors' clearly laid out, equation-free arguments. Their new theory has little chance of being confirmed experimentally in the foreseeable future, but many who eventually embraced the big bang will doubtless find the notion of cyclic universes and parallel worlds attractive. Illus. (June 5)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Distinguished theoretical physicists Steinhardt and Turok present a bold new cosmology regarding the Big Bang theory. They contend that what many think of as the moment of creation was simply part of an infinite cycle of titanic collisions between this universe and a parallel world.
About the Author
PAUL J. STEINHARDT is the Albert Einstein Professor in science and on the faculty of the departments of physics and astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. NEIL TUROK holds the Chair of Mathematical Physics in the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at Cambridge University.
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