An astrophysicist presents an in-depth yet accessible tour of the universe for lay readers, while conveying the excitement of astronomy.
How is a galaxy billions of lightyears away connected to us? Is our home nothing more than a tiny speck of blue in an ocean of night? In this exciting tour of a universe far larger than we can imagine, cosmologist Paul M. Sutter emphasizes how amazing it is that we are part of such a huge, complex, and mysterious place.
Through metaphors and uncomplicated language, Sutter breathes life into the science of astrophysics, unveiling how particles, forces, and fields interplay to create the greatest of cosmic dramas. Touched with the author's characteristic breezy, conversational stylewhich has made him a breakout hit on venues such as The Weather Channel, the Science Channel, and his own popular Ask a Spaceman! podcasthe conveys the fun and wonder of delving deeply into the physical processes of the natural universe. He weaves together the past and future histories of our universe with grounded descriptions of essential modern-day physics as well as speculations based on the latest research in cosmology.
Topics include our place in the Milky Way galaxy; the cosmic weba vast web-like pattern in which galaxies are arranged; the origins of our universe in the big bang; the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy; how science has dramatically changed our relationship to the cosmos; conjectures about the future of reality as we know it; and more.
For anyone who has ever stared at the starry night sky and wondered how we humans on Earth fit into the big picture, this book is an essential roadmap.
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About the Author
Paul M. Sutter is the cosmological researcher and community outreach coordinator for the Department of Astronomy at The Ohio State University. He is also the chief scientist at the COSI Science Center (Center of Science and Industry). As a new, fresh voice in science communication and an astrophysicist, writer, speaker, producer, and on-air host of podcasts and TV programs, Sutter strives to bring science to new audiences. He is the creator of the Ask a Spaceman! podcast, a contributing editor to Space.com, and the founder of Active Galaxy Productions, a company that blends science with art in groundbreaking ways. Sutter has authored over sixty academic papers on topics ranging from the earliest moments of the Big Bang, to the emptiest places in the universe, to novel methods for detecting the first stars. He has given over 100 seminars, colloquia, and conference talks at institutions around the world. Watch him on YouTube, listen to him on Space Radio, and follow him on social media. Details can be found at http://www.pmsutter.com/outreach.
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Excerpted from "Your Place in the Universe"
Copyright © 2018 Paul M. Sutter.
Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books.
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Table of Contents
Prologue: Perhaps This Was All a Big Misunderstanding 9
Chapter 1 Sacred Geometry 13
Chapter 2 A Broken Universe 29
Chapter 3 Tales from a Bewildering Sky 43
Chapter 4 The Death of Antimatter 59
Chapter 5 Beyond the Horizon 73
Chapter 6 Bathed in Radiance 91
Chapter 7 Reaping the Quantum Whirlwind 105
Interlude: A Guide to Living in an Expanding Universe 119
Chapter 8 Behold the Cosmic Dawn 127
Chapter 9 Of Matters Dark and Cold 143
Chapter 10 The Cosmic Web 159
Chapter 11 The Rise of Dark Energy 171
Chapter 12 The Stelliferous Era 189
Chapter 13 The Fall of Light 203
Chapter 14 The Long Winter 215
Epilogue: A Game of Chance 225
Select Bibliography and Further Reading 259