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Once Before Time: A Whole Story of the Universe | [Martin Bojowald]

Once Before Time: A Whole Story of the Universe

In 2000, Martin Bojowald, then a 27-year-old postdoc at Pennsylvania State University, used a relatively new theory called loop quantum gravity - a combination of Einstein’s theory of gravity and quantum mechanics - to create a simple model of the universe. Loop quantum cosmology, or LQC, was born, and with it, a theory that managed to do something even Einstein’s theory of relativity had failed to do - illuminate the birth of the universe.
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Publisher's Summary

In 2000, Martin Bojowald, then a 27-year-old postdoc at Pennsylvania State University, used a relatively new theory called loop quantum gravity - a combination of Einstein’s theory of gravity and quantum mechanics - to create a simple model of the universe. Loop quantum cosmology, or LQC, was born, and with it, a theory that managed to do something even Einstein’s theory of relativity had failed to do - illuminate the birth of the universe.

According to LQC, our universe could have emerged from the collapse of a previous universe, a Big Bounce rather than a Big Bang. Now, Martin Bojowald explains the science behind this new model of the universe in a step-by-step argument for the logical and philosophical cogency of loop quantum gravity (with fascinating digressions into art, literature, and philosophy), and in the process takes us on a remarkable journey through the history of modern cosmology, back to the origin of the universe and to the time before it existed.

In Martin Bojowald, we have not just an extraordinary and rigorous scientific mind, but also a science writer of uncommon eloquence and accessibility whose subject is as thoroughly fascinating as it is revolutionary.

©2010 Martin Bojowald (P)2010 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Bojowald largely avoids mathematics for accessibility, but that can leave his writing dense with rigor as he strives to cover 'the Whole Story.' Readers willing to meet his challenge will find a fascinating new universe revealed by his enthusiastic firsthand approach." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (25 )
5 star
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3.4 (10 )
5 star
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Story
2.8 (11 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Randall Louisville, KY, United States 02-10-11
    Randall Louisville, KY, United States 02-10-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Decent Subject, But Narrator Ruins It All"

    Well, it was just a matter of time. This is my first review after 16 audiobooks from Audible.com. I regret that it is a negative review. What I mean is that the subject matter seems different enough and relatively (a very slight pun there) interesting, but I cannot suffer through another hour of the narrator. My gosh, I have listened to books on several subjects ranging from Augustus to The Edge of Physics and have enjoyed them all in one way or another, but this book is just awful given the way it is narrated. Jonathan Cowley could not have made a book more boring if he had tried (although one gets the feeling that he did try to make it so). The narration is a constant monotone with no emphasis whatsoever on any part of the text. And to add insult to injury, he reads so S-L-O-W that the listener loses interest. It ofter seems that the narration was a first take--either that or the sound engineer and director were bored to sleep because of lack of interest in the subject matter. Sadly, the robot voice from the NWS has more inflexion. I don't know how this guy made it through the editing process, if there was one. Anyway, it is a real shame that someone who appears to be a good author with a very difficult subject matter has their book ruined by a narrator with an uninteresting voice and annoying accent which is either real or terribly overdone. A mouthful of rocks wouldn't have interfered with the narrator's diction. I really am sorry to come down so hard on this guy, but after wasting $15 on this book I wanted to warn other potential purchasers. I hope that this fair warning is not censored by the reviewer of reviews. I have enjoyed a similar books: for example The Edge of Physis has a wonderful narrator. In a similar vein, the narrators of The Black Hole War and The Disappearing Spoon are also good. But be warned here, there are many other books on similar subjects which are much more enjoyable!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 08-30-12
    Amazon Customer United States 08-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "felt like cowley was on Xanax when he read it"
    Would you try another book from Martin Bojowald and/or Jonathan Cowley?

    Maybe if its edited better. E.g. footnote footnote footnote . I like what Bojowald is trying to say its just lifeless and needs an editor badly


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm looking. There's not enough good books in this category


    How could the performance have been better?

    he did a great job in bad science. This was unacceptable


    Any additional comments?

    those with any type of ADD/ADHD need not attempt unless you want to constantly hit the replay button.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis South Bend, IN, United States 12-22-10
    Dennis South Bend, IN, United States 12-22-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    1
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    "Monotonous, Droning Narrator"

    The narrator sounds like a computer voice reader with an Australian accent. The voice detracts from what may be an interesting book.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Stockholm, Sweden 02-19-13
    Alan Stockholm, Sweden 02-19-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Once Before Time: A Whole Story of the Universe"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Once Before Time to be better than the print version?

    No


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    ...


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Unfortunately, the narrator ruined a very interesting book! I was warned about this issue by several reviews, but I wanted to try it myself....


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Herbert S. Tomball, TX 06-14-11
    Herbert S. Tomball, TX 06-14-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Difficult Listen"

    I had to force myself to continue through this dry, disconnected, footnote riddled and meandering discourse. Very difficult to stay focused on what the author was explaining as the discourse bounced from technical ,to philosophical, to who got a nobel prize, to who published, what Greek's thought to what is thought of today. I lost the thread some place in this author's maze. If you know what existed before the big bang it all be very clear - otherwise listen to something else.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Benjamin Oakland, CA USA 02-28-11
    Larry Benjamin Oakland, CA USA 02-28-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "An Excellent Book"

    This is a five star book and the reader I found to be very good.

    I have listened to many books on cosmology and quantum mechanics and this book is a must ???listen??? and read book.

    I have most of the books I listen to on this subject and this book without hesitation will be added to my library.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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