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The Edge of Physics Audiobook

The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth's Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

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Publisher's Summary

In this deeply original book, science writer Anil Ananthaswamy sets out in search of the telescopes and detectors that promise to answer the biggest questions in modern cosmology. Why is the universe expanding at an ever faster rate? What is the nature of the "dark matter" that makes up almost a quarter of the universe? Why does the universe appear fine-tuned for life? Are there others besides our own?

Ananthaswamy soon finds himself at the ends of the earth in remote and sometimes dangerous places. Take the Atacama Desert in the Chilean Andes, one of the coldest, driest places on the planet, where not even a blade of grass can survive. Its spectacularly clear skies and dry atmosphere allow astronomers to gather brilliant images of galaxies billions of light-years away. Ananthaswamy takes us inside the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope on Mount Paranal, where four massive domes open to the sky each night "like dragons waking up." He also takes us deep inside an abandoned iron mine in Minnesota, where half-mile-thick rock shields physicists as they hunt for elusive dark matter particles. And to the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, where engineers are drilling 1.5 miles into the clearest ice on the planet. They're building the world's largest neutrino detector, which could finally help reconcile quantum physics with Einstein's theory of general relativity.The stories of the people who work at these and other dramatic research sites, from Lake Baikal in Siberia to the Indian Astronomical Observatory in the Himalayas to the subterranean lair of the Large Hadron Collider make for a compelling new portrait of the universe and our quest to understand it.

An atmospheric, engaging, and illuminating read, The Edge of Physics depicts science as a human process, bringing cosmology back down to earth in the most vivid terms.

©2010 Anil Ananthaswamy (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A meticulous, accessible update of the latest ideas and instruments that contribute to the clarification of an increasingly puzzling universe." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (275 )
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3.7 (143 )
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3.9 (140 )
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  •  
    Sherrie 04-21-12
    Sherrie 04-21-12

    Addicted to books in all forms.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Less Physics & More Travel Literature & History"

    I enjoyed this book. I bought it for a road trip with my partner, he is an engineer and I am an Arts student and this appealed to us both. Although the title is the edge of physics it is less about the physics itself and much more travel writing in the pursuit of how present theories are being tested. I enjoyed the history behind the theories well as the travel, and my partner enjoyed the aspects where the author described how they are attempting to prove various theories like string theory and multiple universes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    coreeeeeeey 04-16-12
    coreeeeeeey 04-16-12
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    "history of physics not the edge"
    What disappointed you about The Edge of Physics?

    this book covers more of were we are coming from then were we are going.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Greene CHATTANOOGA, TN, United States 04-05-12
    Dan Greene CHATTANOOGA, TN, United States 04-05-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Good information"
    Any additional comments?

    An interesting look at the complex machines these physicist brainiacs build to observe and measure these crazy waves and particles. The author discusses the machines but also discusses the astronomy, the quantum stuff, and the overall theories on unification. I made progress in my slow investigation of this kind of material. It helped me to really begin to understand large energy machines and the dance between particles and wave and energy stuff. It amazed me when he was talking how these people are trying to catch tiny particles and using bended light to see around galaxies - it makes me realize people are way smart - there's no other animal that even begins to understand this stuff, yet humans have created machiens that measure and detect particles, waves, and phenomenon from billions of light years away and that reach beyond the sub-atomic scale - its amazing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Schallitz Livermore, CA USA 08-19-11
    K. Schallitz Livermore, CA USA 08-19-11 Member Since 2016
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    "Not for everyone, and VERY interesting"

    I enjoyed the fact that the author did not dumb down the science and rather enjoyed some of the postulations on where we are going with our discoveries and how very little we really do know. However, this author reminds me of a senile old professor I once had in college. Each lecture he would go off on a completely random tangent but yet somehow bring it back to the topic of the day right before the end of the period and we all sat in stunned amazement. The following semester, not so much. The last semester, not at all; then he retired. That's how I felt when I read this book. I really don't care who the author knows nor do I care to learn about his lunch dates nor his travels. PLEASE just stick to the science. I know that stories make things memorable and entertaining, but NOT YOUR stories. Tell us about science, not your life.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sageeve Prabhakaran Los Angeles, CA 12-13-10
    Sageeve Prabhakaran Los Angeles, CA 12-13-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent book"

    This book gives us an excellent insight to the origin and evolution of the universe, particularly how scientists achieve this using the advanced instuments. I was really excited to hear, how the author explains many advanced concepts in physics in a simple understandable manner. I will buy more books from this author irrespective of the subject. Excellent work.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-07-13 Member Since 2011

    JimBobBillyJoeJackJasonTom

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    "I just want to give a star rating. If you force me"
    Would you try another book from Anil Ananthaswamy and/or L. J. Ganser?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    What three words best describe L. J. Ganser’s performance?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    Any additional comments?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roadrunner At Large 10-06-10 Member Since 2016
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    "Narration is very poor."

    The narration makes this book very boring to listen to. I normally love the subject and am interested in listening/reading to books about it but the quality of the narration was so poor I could not bear to listen to the whole book.

    Imagine you listening to a university lecture on a subject you like but with a monotone lecturing that varies neither his/her tone or speed.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful

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