At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe's First Seconds

At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe's First Seconds

by Dan Hooper


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A new look at the first few seconds after the Big Bang—and how research into these moments continues to revolutionize our understanding of our universe

Scientists in the past few decades have made crucial discoveries about how our cosmos evolved over the past 13.8 billion years. But there remains a critical gap in our knowledge: we still know very little about what happened in the first seconds after the Big Bang. At the Edge of Time focuses on what we have recently learned and are still striving to understand about this most essential and mysterious period of time at the beginning of cosmic history.

Taking readers into the remarkable world of cosmology, Dan Hooper describes many of the extraordinary and perplexing questions that scientists are asking about the origin and nature of our world. Hooper examines how we are using the Large Hadron Collider and other experiments to re-create the conditions of the Big Bang and test promising theories for how and why our universe came to contain so much matter and so little antimatter. We may be poised to finally discover how dark matter was formed during our universe’s first moments, and, with new telescopes, we are also lifting the veil on the era of cosmic inflation, which led to the creation of our world as we know it.

Wrestling with the mysteries surrounding the initial moments that followed the Big Bang, At the Edge of Time presents an accessible investigation of our universe and its origin.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691183565
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 11/05/2019
Series: Science Essentials , #32
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 197,055
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Dan Hooper is a senior scientist and the head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Dark Cosmos and Nature’s Blueprint (both Smithsonian/Harper Collins). He lives in Oak Park, Illinois. Twitter @DanHooperAstro

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 At the Edge of Time 1

2 A World of Time and Space 12

3 A World without a Beginning? 25

4 Glimpses of the Big Bang 46

5 The Universe and the Accelerator 63

6 The Origins of Everything 84

7 Hearts of Darkness 105

8 A Beacon in the Dark? 125

9 Radically Rethinking Dark Matter 143

10 A Flash in Time 158

11 Endless Worlds Most Beautiful 182

12 Touching the Edge of Time 201

Credits 225

Index 227

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Essential reading for any cosmology enthusiast."—Dr. Laura Nuttall, BBC Sky at Night

"[An] informed introduction to 'the mysteries of our universe’s first seconds.'"—Andrew Robinson, Nature

"Scientists know precious little about what happened when the universe got its start: many cosmologists think space and time underwent an extremely rapid expansion called inflation. . . . Hooper takes readers on a mind-bending expedition through these questions and shows how they all connect to the beginning."—Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American

"If you're mystified and curious about the mysteries of the Universe . . . you won't want to miss this book."—Ethan Siegel, Forbes

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