Synopses & Reviews
In this vibrant, eye-opening tour of milestones in the history of our universe, Chris Impey guides us through space and time, leading us from the familiar sights of the night sky to the dazzlingly strange aftermath of the Big Bang.
What if we could look into space and see not only our place in the universe but also how we came to be here? As it happens, we can. Because it takes time for light to travel, we see more and more distant regions of the universe as they were in the successively greater past. Impey uses this concept—"look-back time"—to take us on an intergalactic tour that is simultaneously out in space and back in time. Performing a type of cosmic archaeology, Impey brilliantly describes the astronomical clues that scientists have used to solve fascinating mysteries about the origins and development of our universe.
The milestones on this journey range from the nearby to the remote: We travel from the Moon, Jupiter, and the black hole at the heart of our galaxy all the way to the first star, the first ray of light, and even the strange, roiling conditions of the infant universe, an intense and volatile environment in which matter was created from pure energy. Impey gives us breathtaking visual descriptions and also explains what each landmark can reveal about the universe and its history. His lucid, wonderfully engaging scientific discussions bring us to the brink of modern cosmology and physics, illuminating such mind-bending concepts as invisible dimensions, timelessness, and multiple universes.
A dynamic and unforgettable portrait of the cosmos, How It Began will reward its listeners with a deeper understanding of the universe we inhabit as well as a renewed sense of wonder at its beauty and mystery.
A majestic account of the most fascinating phenomena in our universe—and the science behind them.
About the Author
Chris Impey is University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His research interests are observational cosmology, gravitational lensing, and the evolution and structure of galaxies. His work has been supported by $18 million in grants from NASA and the NSF, and as a professor, he has won eleven teaching awards. Chris is a past vice president of the American Astronomical Society, and he has been the Carnegie Council on Teaching's Arizona Professor of the Year. Impey has written over thirty popular articles on cosmology and astrobiology and coauthored two introductory textbooks. His books include The Living Cosmos and How It Ends. In 2009, Chris was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. David Drummond has made his living as an actor for over twenty-five years, appearing on stages large and small throughout the country and in Seattle, Washington, his hometown. He has narrated over sixty audiobooks for Tantor, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, from fantasy to military, and from thrillers to humor. He received an AudioFile Earphones Award for his first audiobook, Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay. When not narrating, David keeps busy writing plays and stories for children.