An awe-inspiring, unforgettable journey of scientific exploration from Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, the top ten bestselling authors of The Quantum Universe.
We dare to imagine a time before the Big Bang, when the entire Universe was compressed into a space smaller than an atom. And now, as Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw show, we can do more than imagine: we can understand. Over the centuries, the human urge to discover has unlocked an incredible amount of knowledge. What it reveals to us is breathtaking.
Universal takes us on an epic journey of scientific exploration and, in doing so, reveals how we can all understand some of the most fundamental questions about our Earth, Sun, Solar System and the star-filled galaxies beyond. Some of these questions – How big is our solar system? How fast is space expanding? – can be answered from your back garden; the answers to others – How big is the Universe? What is it made of? – draw on the astonishing information now being gathered by teams of astronomers operating at the frontiers of the known universe.
At the heart of all these questions – from the earliest attempts to quantify gravity, to our efforts to understand what dark matter is and what really happened at the birth of our universe – is the scientific process. Science reveals a deeper beauty, connects us to each other, to our world, and to our Universe; and, by understanding the groundbreaking work of others, reaches out into the unknown. What’s more, as Universal shows us, if we dare to imagine, we can all do it.
This is the story of our universe with cosmological events laid out in clear, fantastic detail…A careful read of this beautiful, slender volume will enlighten the reader and stretch the brain. –Internet Review of Books This book distinguishes itself by its emphasis on measurement…The book is well indexed and enjoyable. Beginning undergraduates and general readers will find it engaging and informative. Recommended. –Choice Readers…will gain a more significant understanding of some profound cosmological phenomena. –Kirkus Reviews Physicists Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw reach for the stars and lasso the moon in Universal. –Vanity Fair This is a book about means and processes but also about wonder…Cox and fellow celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson have taken the mantel of generational science communicators once carried by Carl Sagan and Bill Nye…Universal is a bulwark providing an overview of how far we’ve come in understanding our universe and a taste of where we will go. As our professors and guides, Cox and Forshaw require our curiosity and patience. Passages will be reread. Graphs will be stared at indefinitely without guarantee of comprehension. By the end you will be rewarded with a little understanding and some hope for the future (which is also in great demand in these precarious times). –Spectrum Culture Brian Cox [is] perhaps the most popular scientist of the 21st century. –The National Some readers eat popular physics for breakfast. Others yearn for a single simple volume to bring them up to speed, thereby freeing them for the fun stuff (life sciences, tech stories, cat videos). Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw will satisfy both audiences with their broad-brush account of the physical world that still finds room for uncertainty, controversy-even a little light maths. Rarely has a difficult subject been rendered so accessible. –New Scientist [An] accessible, lucid, and entertaining introduction to cutting-edge astrophysics and cosmology. Revealing how scientists explore the universe, the authors celebrate the scientific method as much as the scientific discoveries they address…It’s smooth sailing through increasingly complex topics…Curious readers will appreciate how Cox and Forshaw celebrate the scientific process as heartily as they embrace the wonder of the universe. –Publishers Weekly (starred review)