Edge of the Universe: A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond

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Overview

An accessible look at the mysteries that lurk at the edge of the known universe and beyond

The observable universe, the part we can see with telescopes, is incredibly vast. Yet recent theories suggest that there is far more to the universe than what our instruments record—in fact, it could be infinite. Colossal flows of galaxies, large empty regions called voids, and other unexplained phenomena offer clues that our own "bubble universe" could be part of a greater realm called ...

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Overview

An accessible look at the mysteries that lurk at the edge of the known universe and beyond

The observable universe, the part we can see with telescopes, is incredibly vast. Yet recent theories suggest that there is far more to the universe than what our instruments record—in fact, it could be infinite. Colossal flows of galaxies, large empty regions called voids, and other unexplained phenomena offer clues that our own "bubble universe" could be part of a greater realm called the multiverse. How big is the observable universe? What it is made of? What lies beyond it? Was there a time before the Big Bang? Could space have unseen dimensions? In this book, physicist and science writer Paul Halpern explains what we know—and what we hope to soon find out—about our extraordinary cosmos.

  • Explains what we know about the Big Bang, the accelerating universe, dark energy, dark flow, and dark matter to examine some of the theories about the content of the universe and why its edge is getting farther away from us faster
  • Explores the idea that the observable universe could be a hologram and that everything that happens within it might be written on its edge
  • Written by physicist and popular science writer Paul Halpern, whose other books include Collider: The Search for the World's Smallest Particles, and What's Science Ever Done For Us: What the Simpsons Can Teach Us About Physics, Robots, Life, and the Universe
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470636244
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 617,481
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

PAUL HALPERN, PhD, is Professor of Physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He is the 2002 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, awarded for research that ultimately resulted in the book The Great Beyond: Higher Dimensions, Parallel Universes and the Extraordinary Search for a Theory of Everything. He is also the author of Collider: The Search for the World's Smallest Particles and What's Science Ever Done for Us?: What The Simpsons Can Teach Us about Physics, Robots, Life, and the Universe.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Cosmology’s Extraordinary

New Frontiers 1

1 How Far Out Can We See?: Voyage to the Edge of the Known Universe 7

2 How Was the Universe Born?: Revealing the Dawn of Time 22

3 How Far Away Will the Edge Get?: The Discovery of the Accelerating Universe 39

4 Why Does the Universe Seem So Smooth?: The Inflationary Era 52

5 What Is Dark Energy?: Will It Tear Space Apart? 67

6 Do We Live in a Hologram?: Exploring the Boundaries of Information 82

7 Are There Alternatives to Inflation?: Extra Dimensions and the Big Bounce 96

8 What Builds Structure in the Universe?: The Search for Dark Matter 110

9 What Is Tugging on Galaxies?: The Mysteries of Dark Flow and the Great Attractor 125

10 What Is the “Axis of Evil”?: Investigating Strange Features of the Cosmic Background 137

11 What Are the Immense Blasts of Energy from the Farthest Reaches of Space?: Gamma-Ray Bursts and the Quest for Cosmic Dragons 148

12 Can We Journey to Parallel Universes?: Wormholes as Gateways 161

13 Is The Universe Constantly Splitting into Multiple Realities?: The Many-Worlds Hypothesis 174

14 How Will the Universe End?: With a Bang, Bounce, Crunch, Rip, Stretch, or Whimper? 188

15 What Are the Ultimate Limits of Our Knowledge about the Cosmos? 204

Acknowledgments 217

Notes 219

Further Reading 225

Index 229

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2013

    What can I say ¿ this is scientific outreach at its best, in the

    What can I say – this is scientific outreach at its best, in the best arena of science – physics. Paul Halpern’s book not only explores beyond the horizon of observation, but takes the subject of cosmology to within everyone’s reach. He does this in a fun, non-condescending way, which unlike many science writers makes the reader feel included in the journey the book takes.




    On this Universal voyage, we encounter Dark matter and Dark energy; imagine what could be behind these significantly influential, yet largely unknown phenomena, before navigating our way through higher dimensions and across the Multiverse.




    In addition to all the accurately, concise information, we find ourselves learning about the cosmos in a fun way, with everyday references and analogies. The book oozes the author’s enthusiasm for the subject. I hope and expect this book will make a strong impact and whet the appetite for Cosmology to many more amateurs (like me) and pure novices alike, and judging from advance praise from the book’s previewers, Paul’s professional peers also think the book is wonderful.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 8, 2012

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