The Shadows of Creation

The Shadows of Creation : Dark Matter and the Structure of the Universe

3.58 (17 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Picking up where Stephen Hawking left off in "A Brief History of Time", this book reveals what recent discoveries tell us about the origins and fate of the Universe. The authors explain clearly and simply why most of the Universe is invisible and describe the dramatic efforts to determine what dark matter might be. This book should be of interest to general readers and students (from undergraduate level upwards) and teachers of astronomy, cosmology, astrophysics, and particle physics.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 286 pages
  • 150 x 230mm | 478g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • halftones, line drawings, bibliography
  • 019286159X
  • 9780192861597

Table of contents

The Big-Bang Universe; the particle connection; shadows of doubt; origins of the elements; the creation of matter; the birth of galaxies; the heavens at large; a burst of inflation; the shadow world; seeds of collapse; probing the cosmos.show more

Review Text

The view of cosmology in the Nineties is distinctly through a glass darkly. Buoyed by the discovery of remanent radiation of the Big Bang - as well as by the successes of physicists able to construct matter out of quarks and the breakdown of symmetries in the first moments of creation - astronomers the world over have sought to fill in the gaps. That aim is literal and figurative. For what happened in the 70's and 80's was the realization that there was much more to the universe than could be detected by telescopes. There had to be something more to explain why the Milky Way is galloping toward a "Great Attractor" or why clusters and superclusters of billions of stars have come to constitute a Great Wall in space, while elsewhere there are colossal voids. Thus the hunt for cold dark matter: dark because we can't see it, cold because it's not very active. And cosmic seeds: sites for the spawning of the superclusters. All adding up to 99 percent of the universe. Riordan (an information officer at the Stanford Linear Accelerator) and Schramm, a principal player (Univ. of Chicago), are an enthusiastic and knowledgeable team who summarize the current spate of hypotheses. Theirs is certainly a competent performance - but a numbing one. Gentle reader cannot help but he reminded of angels dancing on the head of a pin, so bizarre are some of the schemes proposed to resolve the issues - including massive cosmic strings, topological defects, hot dark matter, "sparticles," and even shadow matter (a parallel universe intermixed with ours and only interacting through gravitation). As they say, if you want to believe it. . . . In their favor, the authors do provide good explanations of concepts such as the inflationary universe and do point with hope to the potential for the new supercolliders and space telescopes to shed true light on the subject. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

17 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 18% (3)
4 29% (5)
3 47% (8)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
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