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Dark Side of the Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Fate of the…

by Iain Nicolson

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401469,868 (4)1
Once we thought the universe was filled with shining stars, dust, planets, and galaxies. We now know that more than 98 percent of all matter in the universe is dark. It emits absolutely nothing yet bends space and time; keeps stars speeding around galaxies; and determines the fate of the universe. But dark matter is only part of the story. Scientists have recently discovered that the expansion of the universe is speeding up, driven by a mysterious commodity called dark energy. Depending on what dark matter and energy happen to be, our seemingly quiet universe could end its days in a Big Rip, tearing itself apart, or a Big Crunch, collapsing down to a universe the size of nothing, ready to be reincarnated in a Big Bang once again. For the general reader and armchair astronomer alike, Iain Nicolson's fascinating account shows how our ideas about the nature and the content of the universe have developed. He highlights key discoveries, explains underlying concepts, and examines current thinking on dark matter and dark energy. He describes techniques that astronomers use to explore the remote recesses of the cosmos in their quest to understand its composition, evolution, and ultimate fate.… (more)

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This book was not quite what I was hoping it to be. The universe I find to be the most fascinating of subjects and I am always curious to know more on the subject. This book I thought would add to my knowledge and in a number of ways it did. The problem I had with it was that although presented in a coffee table format the narrative was often hard core technical astrophysics. The one great conclusion was of how little we really know about the great mysteries out there, dark matter and dark energy. There are many theories presented with accompanying technical analysis. I struggled to get through this and found myself eventually skimming and reading picture captions. The final chapter summary would have been sufficient it seems. ( )
  knightlight777 | Aug 20, 2016 |
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Once we thought the universe was filled with shining stars, dust, planets, and galaxies. We now know that more than 98 percent of all matter in the universe is dark. It emits absolutely nothing yet bends space and time; keeps stars speeding around galaxies; and determines the fate of the universe. But dark matter is only part of the story. Scientists have recently discovered that the expansion of the universe is speeding up, driven by a mysterious commodity called dark energy. Depending on what dark matter and energy happen to be, our seemingly quiet universe could end its days in a Big Rip, tearing itself apart, or a Big Crunch, collapsing down to a universe the size of nothing, ready to be reincarnated in a Big Bang once again. For the general reader and armchair astronomer alike, Iain Nicolson's fascinating account shows how our ideas about the nature and the content of the universe have developed. He highlights key discoveries, explains underlying concepts, and examines current thinking on dark matter and dark energy. He describes techniques that astronomers use to explore the remote recesses of the cosmos in their quest to understand its composition, evolution, and ultimate fate.

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