Answering Cosmic Questions

 

Where did the universe come from? How does it work? When did it begin and when and how will it end? People have asked variations on these questions since people started asking questions.

“Where Did the Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions,” by Chris Ferrie and Geraint F. Lewis examines those questions. They also show how the answers have changed over the last 50 years.

The pair looks at the biggest thing in existence, the universe itself. They also examine the smallest things, including subatomic particles. They explain how the largest and smallest things in the universe are interrelated and affect each other. They do so in language a layperson can understand.

The book starts with a discussion of quantum mechanics and cosmology. It looks at the way things work at the very micro level and the very macro level. They go through the origins of both fields of physics, introducing the major players in both fields. This discussion also reveals that science is never really settled. It evolves and changes based on new information. They highlight some of the big controversies and how they get resolved.

The book conducts a wide-ranging examination of the biggest questions in physics: What is matter? Why did it appear? (It is a fascinating question, really.) Will matter last forever? Where do elements come from?  Why does gravity not play nicely with the electromagnetic forces?

They spend time looking at stars. This includes discussions of how and why they formed, what their life cycle is like, and what happens when they burn out. They explain why some stars simply go dark while others become black holes.

They also look at the history and future of the universe, discussing theories on how it formed and when (or if) it will end. Throughout all of this they show the limitations of scientific theory. They emphasize their discussion is based on best guesses.

They conclude with a discussion of the theory of everything. Ferrie and Lewis show how scientists are working towards a series of mathematical equations that explain how the universe works, from its smallest elements to its largest.

“Where Did the Universe Come From?” is a fascinating report on the states of modern physics. The authors do an outstanding job presenting complex mathematics in a format a non-technical reader can absorb and understand. If you are curious about the universe, this book is worth reading.

“Where Did the Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions,” by Chris Ferrie and Geraint F. Lewis, Sourcebooks, 2021, 272 pages, $17.99 (hardcover) $7.99 (ebook)

This review was written by Mark Lardas who writes at Ricochet as Seawriter. Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, historian, and model-maker, lives in League City, TX. His website is marklardas.com.

Published in Science & Technology
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  1. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    Sounds interesting!

    • #1
  2. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    This gets ordered. Thanks, @seawriter

    • #2
  3. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    This gets ordered. Thanks, @ seawriter

    Maybe you will get the contract to do the audiobook. 

    • #3