There is far more to the universe than meets the eye: invisible dark matter and dark energy constitute the vast bulk of the cosmos and are responsible for its accelerating expansion. Gates, assistant director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, explores the science of these invisible phenomena and the questions they raise about the universe's origins, its present and its future. Gates explains how scientists discovered the existence of dark matter and their theories about the nature of the particles (with named like WIMPs) that form it. Astrophysicists have found tools to measure the invisible mass: the stars themselves. Drawing on Einstein's theory of general relativity, scientists can "see" dark matter using "gravitational lensing"-by measuring the deflection of light around a cosmic object, they can measure the object's mass. Presenting complicated topics concisely and clearly, Gates explains what we know about the universe, what scientists wish they knew, and what's at stake-the fate of the universe itself. 8 pages of color and 40 b&w illus. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gravity should be slowing the expansion of the universe, but, instead, the expansion is accelerating owing to a force astronomers believe is even stronger than gravity-dark energy. It is the aim of University of Chicago astrophysicist Gates to make accessible to all readers the fascinating discoveries made possible through a new tool based on Einstein's theory of general real, gravitational lensing, or "Einstein's Telescope." In her preface, the author asserts that the cosmos, like music, can be appreciated many ways and at many different levels. She succeeds in presenting mind-boggling ideas with an engaging, readable style that will appeal to nonscientists and scientists alike. Readers are encouraged to appreciate the sheer beauty of the book's astronomical images as they learn how the images were obtained and what they represent. Gates writes with a freshness and clarity that make complex ideas such as relativity, lensing, black holes, and the cosmic web understandable. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries of all sizes.