Before The Beginning: Our Universe and Others

Sophisticated instruments and spacecraft expeditions probing deeper into space have all increased our knowlege of the universe and its place in the grand scheme of things. From the theoretical insights to experimental confirmations, this book describes the universe and our quest to understand it. Rees, the well-known cosmologist and director of Cambridge University's Institute of Astronomy, outlines the historic context and explains discoveries and ideas (both his own and those of his colleagues) with clarity and in an engaging style. He successfully avoids jargon and formulas, but numbers, being too important to leave out, are mentioned in the order of magnitude rather than values. What makes this book unique is the radical theory that Rees puts forth. He asserts that there is an infinity of universes, besides our own, that were and are being created. None but our own is observable because of the hostility of the other universes' environment to intelligent life. Rees argues his case eloquently and without invoking theological issues.

"Although we cannot observe them (and they may be forever inaccessible), other universes are a natural expectation from current cosmology. Moreover, many features of our universe that otherwise seem baffling fall into place once we recognize this." Sir Martin Rees, the British Astronomer Royal, gives a vivid, occasionally acid tour of current astrophysics and cosmology, with insights into scientific politics, such as the enormous increase in the cost of the space telescope because of its association with the Space Shuttle. He also offers keen observations on personalities such as Subrahmayan Chandrasekhar and Isaac Newton, Yakov Zeldovich and Albert Einstein. Joseph Silk calls Before the Beginning "an unusual blend of wit, asperity and cosmology ... a combination of clarity and conciseness."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And on a lighter note than pure new york lawyer , check out the funniest trial transcript ever! If it's not serious enough of a topic, well, just pretend it's the Brit's version of new york lawyer !