Cover Image: Where Did the Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions

Where Did the Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions

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Member Reviews

Most excellent, so much to try to understand and comprehend. The universe is so vast and the hubris of humans is that we understand, and we don't. But as we struggle to learn and fit the pieces together. This was a great way to obtain some new understanding of the stuff we thought we knew and the stuff we need to know.
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A primer on quantum physics and how it relates to current questions in cosmology. Not for the absolute beginner, but a reader with some familiarity with the subject will find a helpful review and also new information. Loved the wry humor sprinkled throughout.
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My review of this book appeared at Ricochet,com (https://ricochet.com/1058480/answering-cosmic-questions/) and Lobsterforest,com (https://lobsterforest.com/this-weeks-book-review-where-did-the-universe-come-from/) on September 26, 2021
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Where Did the Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions is a fantastic beginner friendly book about the origins of the universe. It covers a wide range of topics in cosmology and quantum mechanics: inflation, black holes and neutron stars, elementary particles and gravitational waves, neutrinos, the ultimate theory of everything, etc. And while the book discusses a lot of extremely complicated principles, it is written in an easy and accessible manner. 

I have read a lot of books on astrophysics before reading this one by Ferrie and Lewis. Notwithstanding my previous somewhat shaky and introductory knowledge of astrophysics and cosmology, I found this book very educational as I learned some new concepts that hadn’t been covered in much detail in other similar books. Even if I was already familiar with some other principles, the way the authors described it here helped me better to understand the theoretical science at play. 

A remarkable and entertaining read that will shed some light on most astounding existential questions and phenomena that our scientific community relentlessly tries to explain.
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Now, just keep in mind that this review was written by someone to whom quantum physics and the 1989 TV show Quantum Leap are pretty much interchangeable, as are Newtonian and Kryptonian physics, really. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve learned all those spins and orbitals and Heisenberg/Schrodinger stuff back in college, but I could never actually *get* it and keep it in my brain after exams were over. So really consider me an essential blank-ish slate ready to learn it all again, but this time in much less dry fashion. 

In this book, Drs. Chris Ferrie (a quantum physicist who writes physics books for children) and Geraint Lewis (an astrophysicist who doesn't write physics books for children) decide to combine two scales of learning about the universe — the microscopic quantum world and cosmology - enormous relativity-governed space-time bending one.

“This book is about the quantum and the cosmos, the two extremes of human understanding. The quantum is the world of the very small, of atoms and electrons, with fundamental forces and fundamental particles, the building blocks of everything. The cosmos is the whole shebang, a universe of trillions of stars and galaxies, expanding space from a fiery birth to an unending future.”

And so we embark on very enthusiastic and often poetic (as stargazing tends to cause in those of us romantically inclined — “The outer layers of the star free-fall inward, crushing the now-dead star heart”) journey through relativity and quantum worlds, the Big Bang to the heat death of the universe and everything in between.

“The idea that the universe came from nothing, a true nothing with no space and no time, is rather neat. It leaves no loose ends to tie up! Any question about the origin of the universe will most likely contain the statement “from nothing.” Like a frustrated parent shouting “just because” to the endless questioning of a child.”

This short book goes into the highlights of history of quantum physics and relativity theory. There will be numerous eponyms that all science seems to be so fond of, that may or may not cause a brief flashback to physics courses - Scrodinger’s equation, Pauli’s exclusion principle, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Hawking radiation, etc. There will be a veritable soup of all kinds of funnily named particles - electrons, protons, neutrons, neutrinos, fermions, bosons, quarks - and even baryon number. There will be mentions of supersymmetry, string theory, M-branes, loop quantum gravity — and a speculation about that elusive Theory of Everything. And, to the amazement of your truly, an addition of “yottaseconds” and “yoctoseconds” to my vocabulary.

“From the atoms that define the material world around you, including your very being, to the sunlight that warms your skin on a summer day, all this is possible because of the quantum.”


It’s written well, engagingly and brimming with enthusiasm and admiration of the world in which tiny particles govern on cosmic scales. The tone is quite conversational, and the book has a few obligatory Dad-jokes (“Don’t blame the turkey dinners over the holidays for the extra inches you gain around your waist—thank quantum physics!”). There’s no mathematics, that depending on your perspective may be a hit or miss (a hit for yours truly, definitely)

If you are well-versed in the subject of this book, you’ll probably be just a bit bored. If you have never picked up a hard science book in your life, you may also be a bit bored and perhaps a bit out of your depth. If you are like me with a passing familiarity, you will probably benefit the most (although I can promise you that in a few days all that knowledge will successfully evaporate out of the sieves in my brain especially permeable you anything physics-related).

“So this is where we find ourselves. Our physical laws are dominated by two incompatible theories, one describing the big, the other the small. Both of these theories work surprisingly well when kept to their domains and, as explored in this book, can be jerry-rigged together where needed. But ultimately, both must be incomplete.”

4 stars.

————
<Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Sourcebooks for the ARC.
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This was a very readable book on a difficult subject…Quantum Mechanics.   It did a good job explaining how Quantum Theory made our Universe the way it is.
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For me the book is too difficult to read as I am from a different background. I was hoping it would be same as a Stephen Hawking book. But, the theories and calculations are way over my interest. But, still I would give the book 4 stars.
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This book provides a general overview of cosmology and the history of the universe. It's an interesting read, with the information presented in a logical sequence. The book spends considerable time on the challenge of discovering a unified "theory of everything" that explains both general relativity and quantum mechanics. I consider it to be a good introduction for people relatively new to the subject. The content is well explained and easy for laypeople to understand (to the degree that quantum mechanics is understandable, lol). 

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.
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Where Did The Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions discusses the quantum of the cosmos - its past, present and the future, the chemistry of the heavens and the theory of everything.

I liked the layout of topics in the book, it has good explanation along with examples which make the book intersting for audience from varied educational background. Also the diagrammatic explanations and formulas highlighted make the reading process easy-going.

The book is a great read for readers interested in the Cosmos, whereas students and audience with educational background in the subject can pick the book as a refresher.

Thank you Netgalley, publishers and autors, Chris Ferrie and Geraint F. Lewis for the ARC. 

Where Did The Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions is a great read and I enjoyed reading and sharing my thoughts on it.
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Thank you to the publisher Sourcebooks and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

This book talks about the birth of the universe, its formation and the chemicals that were involved, and what are we made of. 

It is a book for people who is deeply in love and wants to know more about the science of the universe, and its objects and its physics, because there are some details that involve the creation, and the chemicals that were born and needed for the making of the cosmos as we know it. There are informative chapters in which the authors talk about the elements and events that were necessary for our existence, and the universe, talking about the recombination between nuclei and electrons, the first clutch of protostars,... 

As I have said before, I only recommend this book to people who are truly interested in learning more about this subject. 

There are commented some interesting details, events and objects about and in the cosmos, such as black holes, wormholes, the rippling between space and time, the observed spectrum of light and its colors and intensities, the Sun and its power and the role that formed in the creation of the universe, dark energy, dark matter, and theories about the existence of a multiverse. 

The information in this book is told in an informative and interesting way, so it makes it so fascinating and absorbing. 

I highly recommend you this book, I repeat, for lovers of the cosmos. 

This book comes out on 7th September 2021, so stay tuned! 

Link to buy it! 

#WhereDidTheUniverseComeFrom #Netgalley
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A good general overview of the state of cosmology.  I read a lot of these books so I didn't see a lot of new material, which is fine.  If you're just checking out the field now, or if you haven't read a book like this in 10 years or so, here you go.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for an ARC of this title in exchange for my honest review.  Cosmic questions...they baffle me, and it's a subject that I just cannot seem to grasp.  This book was easy to read, easy to understand, and although I won't profess to have a full grasp, I do feel more educated on the subject.
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If you have a sincere interest in cosmology and quantum mechanics this is an excellent book for you to read. If you are a beginner in your study of science this book will be far too advanced for you. Only people who are well versed in these two sciences should get this book but if you are an experienced reader of top-flight in-depth technical works then you will truly enjoy this book.
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