Synopses & Reviews
"A cracking read, combining storytelling of the highest order with a trove of information....What's remarkable is that it all fits together." — Wall Street Journal
"Successful science writing tells a complete story of the 'how' — the methodical marvel building up to the 'why' — and Randall does just that." — New York Times Book Review
"Randall] is a lucid explainer, street-wise and informal. Without jargon or mathematics, she steers us through centuries of sometimes tortuous astronomical history." — The Guardian
In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Professor Lisa Randall, one of today's most influential theoretical physicists, takes readers on an intellectual adventure through the history of the cosmos, showing how events in the farthest reaches of the Universe created the conditions for life — and death — on our planet.
Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city crashed into Earth, killing off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the planet's species. Challenging the usual assumptions about the simple makeup of the unseen material that constitutes 85% of the matter in the Universe, Randall explains how a disk of dark matter in the Milky Way plane might have triggered the cataclysm.
But Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs does more than present a radical idea. With clarity and wit, it explains the nature of the Universe, dark matter, the Milky Way galaxy, comets, asteroids, and impacts. This breathtaking synthesis, illuminated by pop culture references and social and political viewpoints, reveals the deep relationships among the small and the large, the visible and the hidden, as well as the astonishing beauty of the connections that surround us. It's impossible to read this book and look at either the Earth or the sky again in the same way.
"Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs is...a masterpiece of science writing: a detective story that illuminates the nature of scientific research while explaining how our very existence may be connected to unexpected properties of the dark matter that fills the universe." Kip Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at CalTech
"Only Lisa Randall can take us on such a thrilling scientific journey — from dinosaurs to DNA to comets to dark matter and to past and future of our species. Randall’s research is so thorough, the story so powerful, and her storytelling so compelling that I could not put this book down." Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of Emperor of All Maladies
"Randall succeeds in guiding the reader through the history of the cosmos and the Earth from the Big Bang to the emergence of life as we know it in a fun and captivating way....[This is] a very enjoyable read for both lay readers and scientists." Science Magazine
"A cracking read, combining storytelling of the highest order with a trove of information on subjects as diverse as astrophysics, evolutionary biology, geology and particle physics. What’s remarkable is that it all fits together." Wall Street Journal
"Successful science writing tells a complete story of the 'how' — the methodical marvel building up to the 'why' — and Randall does just that." New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Lisa Randall studies theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University, where she is Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees. Professor Randall was included in Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" of 2007 and was among Esquire magazine's "75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century." Professor Randall's two books, Warped Passages (2005) and Knocking on Heaven's Door (2011) were New York Times bestsellers and 100 Notable Books. Her stand-alone e-book, Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space, was published in 2012.