Explains which events took place from "10 to the minus 35th power" seconds onward after the big bang, detailing discoveries along the way which resolved many of the controversies
Writing with rare stylistic verve and a real commitment to lucid explanations of complex ideas, John D. Barrow has produced a book that "expertly encapsulates our knowledge, speculations, and questions about the origins of the universe" (John Paulos, author of Innumeracy) and is as "up-to-date as the fixing of the Hubble telescope" (Martin Gardner).There is no more fascinating question in all of science than that of how space, matter, and even time began. Now Barrow, who has been at the cutting edge of this research, explains the complex physical processes that we now know govern the origin of the universe. Here is a treatment so up-to-date and intellectually rich, dealing with ideas and speculations at the farthest frontier of science, that neither novice nor expert will want to miss what Barrow has to say.More than simply setting out the most current theory of the origin of the universe, Barrow describes what makes cosmology possible. He shows how scientists, by exploring crucial points of contact between the behavior of matter during its early history and the observed structure of the universe today, came to understand more fully all the entities in the universe - from elementary particles to great clusters of galaxies.Moving to the frontier questions of modern cosmology, Barrow discusses how to understand whether time had a beginning; why scientists feel there may be extra dimensions to space; and what the remarkable consequences may be of cosmic wormholes - links between otherwise disconnected parts of space and time. He also shows why the discoveries made by NASA's COBE satellite are of such paramount importance.Barrow is equally at home telling us what physics has to say about "creation out of nothing" as he is explaining why our own existence is entwined with the origin and structure of the universe in unsuspected ways - ways that must be incorporated into any complete description of the universe's beginning, its history, and its future.