Heart of Darkness describes the incredible saga of humankind’s quest to unravel the deepest secrets of the universe. Over the past thirty years, scientists have learned that two little-understood components–dark matter and dark energy–comprise most of the known cosmos, explain the growth of all cosmic structure, and hold the key to the universe’s fate. The story of how evidence for the so-called’Lambda-Cold Dark Matter’model of cosmology has been gathered by generations of scientists throughout the world is told here by one of the pioneers of the field, Jeremiah Ostriker, and his coauthor Simon Mitton.
The Big Bang, the birth of the universe, was a singular event. All of the matter of the universe was concentrated at a single point, with temperatures so high that even the familiar protons and neutrons of atoms did not yet exist, but rather were replaced by a swirling maelstrom of energy, matter and antimatter. Exotic quarks and leptons flickered briefly into existence, before merging back into the energy sea.This book explains the fascinating world of quarks and leptons and the forces that govern their behavior. Told from an experimental physicist’s perspective, it forgoes mathematical complexity, using instead particularly accessible figures and apt analogies.
Was Darwin really inspired by Galápagos finches? Did Einstein’s wife secretly contribute to his theories? Did Franklin fly a kite in a thunderstorm? Did a falling apple lead Newton to universal gravity? Did Galileo drop objects from the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Did Einstein really believe in God? Science Secrets answers these questions and many others. It is a unique study of how myths evolve in the history of science. Some tales are partly true, others are mostly false, yet all illuminate the tension between the need to fairly describe the past and the natural desire to fill in the blanks.
A falling apple inspired the law of gravity—or so the story goes. Is it true? Perhaps not. But why do such stories endure as explanations of how science happens? Newton’s Apple and Other Myths about Science brushes away popular misconceptions to provide a clearer picture of scientific breakthroughs from ancient times to the present.
Although everyone is familiar with the concept of time in everyday life and has probably given thought to the question of how time began, recent scientific developments in this field have not been accessible in a simple understandable form. This book is important as it presents to readers current ideas about the role of time in theoretical cosmology.Recent observational discoveries, especially that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating, have revolutionized the understanding of the energy content of the universe. This development leads to new possibilities for the beginning and end of cosmological time.
From the gene that causes people to age prematurely to the’bitter gene’that may spawn broccoli haters, this book explores a few of the more exotic locales on the human genome, highlighting some of the tragic and bizarre ways our bodies go wrong when genes fall prey to mutation and the curious ways in which genes have evolved for our survival.