Where did the universe come from? And other cosmic questions : our universe, from the quantum to the cosmos

Chris Ferrie

Book - 2021

"Have you ever wanted to travel to the edge of the universe? What about getting sucked up into a black hole? For fans of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry comes an accessible science narrative that invites readers to eavesdrop on a conversation between two scientists as they dive into a multidisciplinary discussion of our understanding of the universe. Explore the depths of our universe, both known and unknown, with two award-winning physicists, Chris Ferrie and Geraint F. Lewis, as they examine the universe through the uniquely accessible lenses of quantum physics and cosmology, tackling questions such as: Where did the universe come from? Do black holes last forever? What is left for humans to discover? A brief but fascinating explo...ration of the vastness of the universe, Where Did the Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions will have armchair physicists, astral enthusiasts, and reluctant science readers turning the pages until their biggest and smallest questions about the cosmos have been answered." --

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 523.1/Ferrie Checked In
Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks [2021]
Main Author
Chris Ferrie (author)
Other Authors
Geraint F. Lewis (author)
Physical Description
xvi, 255 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 221-237) and index.
  • Preface
  • The Quantum and the Cosmos
  • Part 1. The Quantum of Cosmos Past
  • Where did the universe come from?
  • Why is the universe so smooth?
  • Why is there matter in the universe?
  • Where did the elements come from?
  • Part 2. The Quantum of Cosmos Present
  • How did we unravel the chemistry of the heavens?
  • Where did the chemicals inside us come from?
  • Why do dying stars rip themselves apart?
  • Is the entire universe a quantum thing?
  • Part 3. The Quantum of Cosmos Future
  • Why don't all dead stars become black holes?
  • Will matter last forever?
  • Do black holes last forever?
  • Is the end of the universe really the end?
  • Part 4. The Future of a Quantum Cosmos
  • Where have we been?
  • What does a theory of everything look like?
  • Where can a theory of everything take us?
  • What still stands in our way?
  • Acknowledgments
  • Endnotes
  • Index
  • About the Authors
Review by Booklist Review

Our understanding of how the universe works is governed by two models: relativity and quantum mechanics. Both models have proven their accuracy time and again, but we also know that both can't be true. The quest to marry the two into a single coherent model remains the ultimate goal of physicists. In Where Did the Universe Come From? two physicists explore the various ways our universe is governed by both relativity and quantum mechanics, from its origins in the big bang to the evolution of galaxies, from the death of stars to the heat death of the universe. They also summarize the history of how these concepts developed. They identify the gaps in our understanding and examine ideas for how a "theory of everything" might be forged. The authors do an exceptional job of explaining quantum-physical concepts in layperson's terms, using examples and metaphors to illuminate the important ideas without the need to understand the mathematics. This is incredibly complicated stuff and it can only be simplified so far. Where Did the Universe Come From? is one of the most accessible summaries of the present state of cosmology on the market.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Physicists Ferrie (Quantum Physics for Babies) and Lewis (The Cosmic Revolutionary's Handbook) lead a tour through space and time in this accessible exploration of the universe's greatest mysteries. In an effort to show how quantum science (about "the world of the very small") and the cosmos ("the whole shebang") are closely connected despite being "the two extremes of human understanding," the authors cover a wealth of cosmological phenomena and scientific concepts. Thermodynamics (in the answer to "Why is the universe so smooth?") and chemistry ("Where did the elements come from?") are up first and serve as a foundation for understanding and appreciating more theoretical concepts, such as quasars, which help to explain how "we unravel the chemistry of the heavens"; a discussion of why every star doesn't become a black hole; and a deep-dive into dark energy, which plays a role in whether "the end of the universe is really the end." Though the early, more basic explanations are often choppy and repetitive, the authors hit their stride in later chapters as they get into knottier topics. Historical anecdotes, dashes of humor, and the authors' passion keep things moving. Readers curious about cosmology will find this a good place to start. (Sept.)

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