This book is AMAZING and without a doubt one of the best books I have read/listened to in a VERY long time. For those of us whose little grey cells are not numbers oriented, this book was an incredible and thoroughly enjoyable education on the subject of the universe. Superbly written with an engaging narration. I just finished listening to it and will be beginning round two immediately! Worth the credit! Worth the money at any price!
I didn't realize this book was about the history of the discoveries leading to the theories involving the 4% universe, I was expecting more of the theories themselves. Still, it was very interesting learning about the people involved in the discoveries, especially when Saul Perlmutter recently won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the work described in this book. However, it did tend to drag a little at some points.
I'm sorry, this is not a book about "Dark Matter" or "Dark Energy", or even "The 4% Universe". The only part of the title that gives a hint as to what this book is about is the "Race to Discover..." part, but even that is making it sound more interesting than it is.
What this really is, is a dull account of how a lot of scientists haggled and fought over who'd get the credit for various discoveries. It's exceedingly dull. If you're interested in the discoveries themselves, and in learning interested and wonderful facts about our universe, read something by Brian Greene or Stephen Hawking or Leonard Mlodinow. If you haven't yet read everything Carl Sagan wrote, then read one of those. Only read this if you want to know how prideful, self-important scientists fought each other over who got the credit.
it was ok ,,a lot about the scientists not enough about the science
Say something about yourself!
I enjoyed this look into the world of Cosmology, Theoretical Physics and Astronomy. The politics were interesting, illuminating and, thank goodness, ultimately not all that important to the discoveries made.
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
I had some great fun reading this book. It is part history, part science but mostly the story of a great race. How large is the universe? How long has it been around? How fast is it expanding? To learn this you need a unit of measurement. In astronomy this is a standard candle (a light source that you can reliably know is a certain distance away.) Two teams of scientists decide to tackle the massive obstacle of reliably finding and measuring super nova so as to ascertain if they can be used as standard candles.
Two teams race off and we watch them explore the heavens, overcome unreal challenges and do their best to answer the big questions. It's humane, funny and at times a wild ride. I had a blast listening to it. The narrator is fun and really on the material. The text bounces expertly between the history, the narrative and the science, making you feel like a part of the team.
If I had a complaint, it's this. The science is unfinished, so the book is as well. The narrative ends, but no real conclusions are drawn by the end. That's the way it is in reality, so the author didn't try to go too far with his writing. Still, I wanted more punch. That said, this is a great book. It does more than tell you a story, it makes you think about the wonder of our universe.
I downloaded this with a little hesitation, being fairly familiar with dark matter and dark energy and their effects upon the expanding universe. I had some trepidation that this would simply rehash information I already had. Much to my delight, the book really dug into the politics of science and the scientists involved in the race to discovery. Sure, many of us know about Gamov, Wilson, Penzias, COBE, hyper novae as standard candles, etc. What made this a great read/listen was learning about the two teams racing to discover those hyper novae, who and how the teams were assembled, the different approaches, and such. Contrary to George's review (and he has every right to have wanted a different perspective), I enjoyed this book thoroughly because of its look at the human and political side of science.
This is a wonderful book that tells the history of Cosmology, what the scientist know & especially how they know what they know about the universe...Which is absolutely fascinating!
This book should be read by all the Christians & other religious people who claim scientist have no way of knowing the things they claim, scientist just guess or make things up to debunk religion, etc.
Just to be clear this book is NOT a science vs religion book at all...I am simply pointing out the fact that religious people who think & have been taught that science is just opinion, especially American Christians, should sit down & read this book if they are interested in knowing the truth about how science works. And of course knowing what our current understanding of the universe is & yes the areas where we know very little.
Interesting book for the non-cientific community but sold under false advertisement.
The book itself is easy to follow and has an enthrilling narrative of the fight the cosmologists have held for a while to become the first to discover the ultimate explanation behind the universe. It has a lot of interesting data and milestones, though.
What i did not like at all is that the whole book is more about the "race" with just a tiny portion towards the end actually talking about dark matter and energy themselves.