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!
The book is certainly detailed, of every blind alley and dead end along the search for dark energy and dark matter. I generally love physics/astronomy books but this one was like waiting for the punch lines that never seem to arrive.
Somehow, I kept listening (and listening, and listening) for a serious breakthrough in the search or a compelling new slant on the science. These never quite happen.
But.... I understand it's different strokes for different folks, so I will offer this: If you enjoy the history of a quasi-wild-goose chase, this book has all the scientific process details you would ever want. The book also gives you a nice profile of the various scientists, and of the
Glad this one was "free" with my member-credit.
As narrators go, Ray Porter is better than many narrators, but to my ear he always (even in other audiobooks) has sort of a slightly disgusted / sarcastic undertone to his vocal inflection.
The 4 percent Universe was not really worth the time I gave it.
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.
Husband, Dad, Principal, Adjunct prof, RC Deacon, radio co-host, story teller, NYer, walker, & occasional sipper of fine whisk(e)y,
The work is an interesting look at the development of the search for dark matter and energy. Sometimes I felt it was bogged down into the jargon of the field, but that may say more about me than the book.
Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.
This book is about the birth of Cosmology; the astrophysical study of the history, structure, and constituent dynamics of the universe. We can consider it as two books in one. First it is a history of the study of the universe during the last century, particularly concerned with “inflation” the expansion of the universe and second about the competition between the men and woman in two distinct research groups and their competition to determine just why the universe is expanding. Well perhaps that would be better said, whether it was expanding and if so, where and what is the stuff making it expand?
There is so much data here about the science – all given in layman’s terms, that I think this book is a twice read to get its contents. Not the best story I have ever read but the knowledge about our universe, dark matter, dark energy and its endless nature is so intriguing that it is easily a two time listen book.
it was ok ,,a lot about the scientists not enough about the science
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.
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.
Plenty of detail here on the lives of the astronomers who pieced together the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, but all that detail actually made me understand less rather than more. The book focuses on the drama and infighting of the scientific community, but in the process of listening to these stories the science and explanations behind these discoveries gets lost.