Synopses & Reviews
From the big bang to black holes, from dark matter to dark energy, from the origins of the universe to its ultimate destiny, The Edge of the Sky
tells the story of the most important discoveries and mysteries in modern cosmology with a twist. The books lexicon is limited to the thousand most common words in the English language, excluding physics
, or even universe
. Through the eyes of a fictional scientist (Student-People) hunting for dark matter with one of the biggest telescopes (Big-Seers) on Earth (Home-World), cosmologist Roberto Trotta explores the most important ideas about our universe (All-there-is) in language simple enough for anyone to understand.
A unique blend of literary experimentation and science popularization, this delightful book is a perfect gift for any aspiring astronomer. The Edge of the Sky tells the story of the universe on a human scale, and the result is out of this world.
This short, but compelling story explains difficult cosmology topicsin easy to understand language that captures the child-like mystery still very much a part of the study of the sky. Roberto Trotta, aneminent astrophysicist at the Imperial College London, uses only the 1,000 most common words in the English language to describe complextopics like the Big Bang, dark matter and dark energy. The limited list of word compelled Trotta to rethink complex topics, replacingwords like particles with “drops” and galaxies with “Star Crowds.” The result is a book completely lacking scientific jargon but filledwith metaphors that invoke wonder and will be interesting to even young children.Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
"Explaining complex ideas in accessible language is the goal of every popular science writer, but Trotta, a theoretical cosmologist at Imperial College London, stretches that effort to creative extremes, telling the story of modern cosmology with only the 'ten hundred' (aka 1,000) most common English words. At first glance, the deliberately simple language feels childish, more of a distraction than a valuable, creative approach. Airplanes are 'flying cars,' planetary rovers like Curiosity are 'space-cars,' a large telescope is a Big-Seer, and planets, with their wandering paths across the heavens, are Crazy Stars. But Trotta's deft word choices quickly draw the reader into a surprisingly vivid alternate reality where student-persons (scientists) strive to pierce the mysteries of the All-There-Is: the universe. From its origin in the Big Flash through Einstein's marriage of time and space into 'space-time' to the invisible power of the Dark Push (dark energy) and dark matter, Trotta explores each topic with clarity as well as charm. There are a few quirks for example, why are Big-Seers gendered as male? but, in general, the spare writing is elegant, even poetic. Literary experiments tend either to work or to flail with awkwardness; in Trotta's hands, this beautifully written book, with its limited vocabulary, soars." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"In a style akin to magical realism, Roberto Trotta tells the story of the cosmos an engaging and informative book.” Arthur I. Miller, author of Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science is Redefining Contemporary Art
A wonder-full not-afraid story-telling try-it-and-see, about big-sky-study of today with only the ten-hundred most used words. Very not-usual, most good. Fun, too. Buy now!” Ian Stewart, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick, and author of Visions of Infinity
The Edge of the Sky is an enthralling read that turns on its head the conventional (and in my view thoroughly misguided) wisdom that complicated scientific ideas can only be described using complicated language. Roberto Trotta takes the reader on a fascinating and entertaining journey through the very latest discoveries in astrophysics and cosmology, using only the 1000 most common English words, but never compromising on the clarity and detail of his scientific descriptions. The Edge of the Sky captures with child-like wonder the mysteries of the cosmos in language accessible to everyone, making it eminently suitable for children of all ages!” Martin Hendry, Professor of Astrophysics, University of Glasgow
A simplified but by no means simplistic introduction to modern cosmology and physics the flagship sciences of the All-There-Is'....An entertaining exercise...for those student-people who like to ponder the All-There-Is while testing the always-inadequate limits of language.” Kirkus Reviews
[A] surprisingly clear, and often poetic, primer on such complicated topics as the big bang, dark energy and the possibility of multiverses.” Scientific American
About the Author
Roberto Trotta is a theoretical cosmologist in the astrophysics group of Imperial College London. He has held research positions at the University of Geneva and the University of Oxford, as well as visiting positions at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cape Town, the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. One of the world's leading figures in "astrostatistics," a new discipline focusing on the use of statistical methods to solve problems in cosmology and astrophysics, he has published more than fifty scientific papers, contributed to two books and received numerous awards for his research, including the Michelson Prize of Case Western Reserve University, the Lord Kelvin Award of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Public Engagement Fellowship by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK. www.robertotrotta.com.