The Universe Next Door: The Making of Tomorrow's Science

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The idea that an atom can be in two places at once defies logic. Yet this is now an established scientific fact. In The Universe Next Door, science writer Marcus Chown examines a dozen mind-bending new ideas that also fly in the face of reason--but that, according to eminent scientists, might just be crazy enough to be true.
Could time run backwards? Is there a fifth dimension? Does quantum theory promise immortality? To explore these questions, Chown has interviewed some of ...
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Overview


The idea that an atom can be in two places at once defies logic. Yet this is now an established scientific fact. In The Universe Next Door, science writer Marcus Chown examines a dozen mind-bending new ideas that also fly in the face of reason--but that, according to eminent scientists, might just be crazy enough to be true.
Could time run backwards? Is there a fifth dimension? Does quantum theory promise immortality? To explore these questions, Chown has interviewed some of the most imaginative and courageous people working at the forefront of science, and he has come away with a smorgasbord of mind-expanding ideas. For instance, Lawrence Schulman at New York's Clarkson University believes there could be regions in our Universe where stars unexplode, eggs unbreak and living things grow younger with every passing second. Max Tegmark, at the University of Pennsylvania, believes there could be an infinity of realities stacked together like the pages of a never-ending book (with an infinite number of versions of you, living out an infinite number of different lives). And David Stevenson of Cal Tech argues that life may exist on worlds drifting in the cold, dark abyss between the stars, worlds without suns to warm them. Indeed, these worlds may be the most common sites for life in the universe.
Was our universe created by super-intelligent beings from another universe? Is there evidence of extraterrestrial life lying right beneath our feet? The Universe Next Door ponders these and many other thought-provoking questions. You may not agree with all the answers but your head will be spinning by the time you reach the last page.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Marcus Chown is a latter-day Carl Sagan. Writing with wit and humor, he popularizes complex theories for laypersons.... Congratulations to Mr. Chown for another stimulating and provocative work."--The Nashville Tennessean

"For sheer intellectual exhilaration, few books offer more."--Booklist

"Finest cosmology writer of our day."--Matt Ridley, author of Genome

"An enjoyable book...lets readers spend time pondering ideas that go beyond intuitive reasoning.... Chown pursues those intriguing notions by interviewing a collection of renowned scientists from around the world--many of whom express very strange thoughts based on current knowledge."--Nick Nichols, Astronomy

"Marcus Chown is a scientific evangelist. The deeper I delved into The Universe Next Door the more I became suffused with a fervour for the subject.... Eminently readable and delightfully thought-provoking."--New Scientist

Science News
Physicist Niels Bohr once said to a colleague, "Your idea is crazy. The questions is: is it crazy enough to be true?" Considering that an idea as counterintuitive as the notion that an atom can be in two places at one time has been proved, maybe Bohr wasn't exaggerating. Chown devotes this exciting book to crazy ideas currently brewing in the minds of theoretical physicists. Could time run backward? Does quantum theory promise immortality? Might multiple realties be playing out all possible histories? Could these ideas and others that Chown profiles here be true? Evidence is often sketchy, but the concepts are infinitely intriguing and may just be crazy enough.
New Scientist
Marcus Chown is a scientific evangelist. The deeper I delved into The Universe Next Door the more I became suffused with a fervour for the subject....The Universe Next Door is eminently readable and delightfully thought-provoking.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195168846
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/25/2003
  • Pages: 191
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Marcus Chown, an award-winning writer and broadcaster, is Cosmology Consultant for the weekly science magazine New Scientist. Formerly a radio astronomer at Cal Tech, he is the author of Afterglow of Creation and The Magic Furnace (OUP). He lives in England.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: The Making of Tomorrow's Science
Acknowledgments
Pt. 1 The Nature of Reality 1
1 Unbreak My Heart 3
2 I'm Gonna Live Forever 15
3 Dividing the Indivisible 34
4 All the World's a Time Machine 45
5 Tales from the Fifth Dimension 59
Pt. 2 The Nature of the Universe 73
6 The Holes in the Sky 75
7 Looking-Glass Universe 84
8 The Universe Next Door 97
9 Was the Universe Created by Angels? 110
Pt. 3 Life and the Universe 121
10 The Worlds between the Stars 123
11 The Life Plague 132
12 Alien Garbage 148
Glossary 157
Further Reading 179
Index 183
About the Author 191
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Customer Reviews

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