Synopses & Reviews
An adventure into the heart of Nothing by bestselling author K. C. Cole.
Once again, acclaimed science writer K. C. Cole brings the arcane and acad-
emic down to the level of armchair scientists in The Hole in the Universe,
an entertaining and edifying search for nothing at all. Open the newspaper
on any given day and you will read of a newly discovered planet, star, and
so on. Yet scientists and mathematicians have spent generations searching
the far reaches of the universe for that one elusive state-nothingness.
Although this may sound like a simple task, every time the absolute void
appears within reach, something new is discovered in its place: a black hole,
an undulating string, an additional dimension of space or time-even another universe. A fascinating and literary tour de force, The Hole in the Universe is a virtual romp into the unknown that you never knew wasn't there.
"On page 91 of this book K. C. Cole advises the reader, somewhat plaintively, "Don't try to grasp all of this at once." The injunction, and its reiteration elsewhere ("I urge the reader not to worry if this doesn't make complete sense"), might strike some as authorial dereliction. But any writer who has ever grappled with Cole's subject will know better, and will spot such warnings as badges of integrity. Cole has set out to describe for lay readers a world that scrambles the comprehension even of its most adept theoreticians: the world of modern physics.
Cole, a veteran science reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the author of The Universe and the Teacup, a praised paean to mathematics, has here chosen for her conceit an intellectual history of nothing. This ranges widely, before she is done, from the blood contest over the quantity zero,..." Russ Rymer, Atlantic Monthly
(read Atlantic Monthly's entire review
PRAISE FOR THE HOLE IN THE UNIVERSE
As clear and accessible as Hawking's A Brief History of Time, this work deserves wide circulation, not just among science buffs."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Cole has plenty of experience making the most abstruse theories intelligible to
the lay reader. . . . A clever and readable investigation."-New York Post
The more we know about Nothing, the more enticing and bizarre the universe becomes, especially in the hands of bestselling author K.C. Cole. Welcome to the world of cutting-edge math, physics, and neuroscience, where the search for the ultimate vacuum has rendered the universe deep, rich, and juicy.
Welcome to the world of cutting-edge math, physics, and neuroscience, where the search for the ultimate vacuum, the point of nothingness, ground zero of theory, has rendered the universe deep, rich, and juicy. "Modern physics has animated the void," says K. C. Cole in her entrancing journey into the heart of Nothing. Every time scientists and mathematicians think they have reached the ultimate void, new stuff appears: a black hole, an undulating string, an additional dimension of space or time, repulsive anti-gravity, universes that breed like bunnies. Cole's exploration at the edge of everything is as animated and exciting as the void itself. Take Cole's hand on this adventure into the unknown, and you'll come back informed, amused, and excited.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 258-266) and index.
About the Author
A popular science columnist for the Los Angeles Times and teacher at UCLA, K.C. Cole is a recipient of the 1995 American Institute of Physics Award for Best Science Writing. She is also the author of the internationally bestselling The Universe and the Teacup, First You Build a Cloud, and The Hole in the Universe. Cole lives in Santa Monica, California.
Table of Contents
Why not? A prelude --Nothing happened --Good for nothing --Nothing takes center stage --Nothing becomes center stage --Nothing gets strung out --Nothing becomes everything --Nothing in the news --Nothing on your mind --In search of nothing.