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.
Retired nightclub performer/computer technician, I now teach hula and ukulele to seniors, and record Hawaiian music for my halau!
This is a wonderful, entertaining book - period! But first I have to talk about the narrator, Mr. Ray Porter. Who IS he? He sounds like he is one of those astrophysics/cosmology gurus himself! Every nuance, every inflection, just perfect. I gotta hear more from this guy. He has done an outstanding job of bringing Richard Panek's story to life!
And what a story it is! It reads like a mystery novel from start to finish. I know, a lot of science writers throw names around -- Einstein, Hubble, Hawking, blah, blah -- and I've always accepted this because it gives the material "authority". But this guy, Richard Panek, has taken all the many lesser known names in this field, and given them personalities! All the other scientists, the ones who haven't received a Nobel or other recognition -- all these guys work, think, postulate and network with each other daily to try and figure out what the hell is the universe all about. These people devote their lives, day and night, to put the puzzle pieces together. And Richard Panek put me right there in the room with them.
Along the way, observing these nerds (and I mean that in a most flattering way) massaging and manipulating their grey matter into wild and unimaginable theories about how it all fits together mathematically and elegantly, I have begun to understand what it is that they are talking about.
Panek's lively and informative book, coupled with Porter's engaging and heartfelt narration, make this a perfect Audible package. I want more, more, more of this!
The book is mistitled. It gives the impression that the book is all about dark matter and dark energy. But it's actually a history of cosmological thought, complete with nitty gritty politics and infighting of the scientists. And that's fine - it was enjoyable to read about that, and it's obvious that a lot of research went into uncovering the backgrounds of the scientists and the way they went about their discoveries. But if you want to learn all about the science itself, seems like only about 4% of the book covers that.
A great update on the current state of cosmology told in an understandable way with the added bonus of some of the behind the scenes stories.
Ray Porter's performance because he took what can be very technical and with his tone made it very enjoyable.
Jim Peebles because he starts of with a mindset going one direction and by the end of the book, that has changed.
He really didnt do characters but rather it was a conversational/lecture approach to the book.
The unseen needs to be seen.
Harry Turtledove fan
This book requires brains to comprehend and understand. That said, the narration plays a major part.
The author, has brilliantly outlined how the term Dark Matter came into existence, starting from search for Cepheid variables, supernovae (incidentally, Nova means new [star], and hence supernova means New Star).
The author also skillfully weaves the story of the people in this, their joy, aspirations, their fears, their anger and their triumphs. Ray Porter makes them OUR feelings, our joy, our fear and our triumph. This narrator puts his whole heart into the effort and i lived each character.
The book goes onto describe how physicists and cosmologists don't generally see eye to eye, but now collaborate.
It also talks about how hard it is come for funding for genuine science experiments. To those who keep complaining that the money spent on science is better spent on uplifting the poor: wake up call ! Science ensures the poor can be fed. Else you guys would still be tilling the land with horses to feed the poor. Duh !
I wish science funding be increased 10-fold. The money can be taken from the Defense appropriations committee since they don't add much value.
I wish i had followed by heart and become an astronomer...
While it is interesting to hear stories about the people in the field, I prefer less history more science. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy history and it is fun to hear about how the scientific community works but not for 10 hours.
There are some good bits of science facts you might find interesting, however after of listening to many other books I could have passed on this one.
I enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction, and horror the most. To improve, I read about language, psychology, spirituality, and art. I read about computer science and business for professional reasons.
I'd have difficulty comparing this book to anything outside of the Science genre, because it's very unlike anything like a Classic or Fantasy. However, the science in this book is extraordinarily interesting and explained perfectly.
I haven't read too many science books except textbooks, and this was far more entertaining than a traditional textbook.
The history of cosmology.
Excellent book, I highly recommend it.
It reviewed excellently the birth of "Cosmology", the present observable evidence relating to the birth, present state of, and probable future of the Universe.
T Rex and the Crater of Doom by Walter Alvarez. Both books are an excellent review of recent science, and how it is responsibly conducted.
His reading of science - not always the most exciting subject matter - made "real" the interaction between scientists in having different teams perform research to reach identical conclusions.
This book is not suitable for a film.
I personally know many of the scientists referred to in this work. To the best of my knowledge, the portrayal in the book is quite accurate.