The Last Three Minutes: Conjectures about the Ultimate Fate of the Universe

The Last Three Minutes: Conjectures about the Ultimate Fate of the Universe

by Paul Davies
     
 

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Ragnarok. Armageddon. Doomsday. Since the dawn of time, man has wondered how the world would end. In The Last Three Minutes, Paul Davies reveals the latest theories. It might end in a whimper, slowly scattering into the infinite void. Then again, it might be yanked back by its own gravity and end in a catastrophic "Big Crunch." There are other,See more details below

Overview


Ragnarok. Armageddon. Doomsday. Since the dawn of time, man has wondered how the world would end. In The Last Three Minutes, Paul Davies reveals the latest theories. It might end in a whimper, slowly scattering into the infinite void. Then again, it might be yanked back by its own gravity and end in a catastrophic "Big Crunch." There are other, more frightening possibilities. We may be seconds away from doom at this very moment.

Written in clear language that makes the cutting-edge science of quarks, neutrinos, wormholes, and metaverses accessible to the layman, The Last Three Minutes treats readers to a wide range of conjectures about the ultimate fate of the universe. Along the way, it takes the occasional divergent path to discuss some slightly less cataclysmic topics such as galactic colonization, what would happen if the Earth were struck by the comet Swift-Tuttle (a distinct possibility), the effects of falling in a black hole, and how to create a "baby universe." Wonderfully morbid to the core, this is one of the most original science books to come along in years.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Although cosmology has developed into perhaps the most arcane and heavily mathematicized of academic specialities, you don't have to be a scientist to gaze at the night sky in search of answers. Hence the appeal of these fine companion books, the first in the publisher's very promising "Science Masters" series, which aims to tap into the potentially large market of curious, generally educated readers seeking intelligent but nontechnical treatments of current science issues. Barrow looks at Big Bang cosmology and does a particularly good job at explaining so-called "inflationary universe" theory, a difficult concept that others have handled far less deftly. Still, despite his occasional digressions into the literature of Arthur Conan Doyle, his writing is rather dry. Davies, by contrast, is more playfully conjectural, and the sheer audacity of some of his speculations makes for a more entertaining read. While other popularizations of basic cosmology have been published in recent years (e.g., Alan Lightman's Time for the Stars, LJ 11/15/92), Barrow and Davies are quality science popularizers, and both of their books merit recommendations. Davies's book is, however, the stronger due to the livelier writing and comparative uniqueness of his subject. [The third volume in the "Science Masters" series is Richard Leakey's The Origin of Humankind, reviewed below.-Ed.]-Gregg Sapp, Univ. of Miami Lib.
Booknews
Davies (natural philosophy, U. of Adelaide, Australia) presents a variety of scenarios for the ultimate fate of the universe. He describes theories such as the earth's predicted collision in 2126 with the Swift-Tuttle comet, Helmholtz's theory of the universe's slow disintegration by entropy, and speculations that the violent collapse of our universe may give birth through an umbilical wormhole to a new universe. Davies examines the scientific as well as the human implications of the alternative endings to our universal drama. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465038510
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
01/28/1997
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,397,174
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.44(d)
Lexile:
1270L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

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