Cover Image: What's Eating the Universe?

What's Eating the Universe?

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Member Reviews

This book is an accessible, easy-to-read history of cosmology that sums up the current state of the science and speculates about what might be to come. It also deals with some of the weirder possible phenomenon that might exist in or might affect our universe. The author is comfortable with mystery, with the unknown, with the process of searching. He acknowledges that some of the current popular theories might be wrong, even if they've got beautiful math working in their favor.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.
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I would recommend “What’s eating the universe?” for readers who are interested in science and looking for an explanation of cosmology and astrophysics that’s informative but not dry. The only place where the discourse wobbles is when Davies enters the fuzzy area bordered by quantum mechanics and religion. Otherwise, it’s an overall enjoyable read.
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What’s Eating the Cosmos tackles some of the big questions in modern cosmology, beginning with the basics — how do we know what’s out there? Where is it, what is it made of? — and continuing onward to the more changing questions, those which stretch the limits of our imagination. Although Davies is dealing with heady topics, including the plausibility of time travel, the evaluation of the universe’s fate, and even why we have matter at all. Although I can’t pretend to fully understand all of the subjects discussed — relativity and quantum mechanics are demanding topics, to say the least — Davies’ writing is lucid, using clear illustrations, and provides an outline education that allows the reader to come away with a sense of having a better idea of the shape and fate of the universe.
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What's Eating the Universe? by Paul C W Davies is a fun and informative look at the history and contemporary understanding of cosmological issues. 

While this is not my area of study I have taken a few courses on the topic as well as other reading and found this to be a great read whether covering something I already (sorta) knew or something completely new to me. It is scientific without being bogged down in the minutiae that is more important to researchers than lay people. Davies also connects the science to the world at large, the thoughts and ideas within which discoveries have been made.

I think one of the strong points is the use of relatively short chapters that each cover a specific point. While the book is certainly coherent as a whole work I think it could also serve very well for a reader who wants to approach it as a collection of essays. By that I mean a reader could read several chapters but not feel like they will lose the thread of the book if they don't get back to it for a few days. Or, as I often do with collections of essays or short stories, read a chapter when I have a limited amount of time and want something self contained.

I would recommend this to any reader interested in the topic. It would make a nice introduction for someone or, if they already have some background, a nice overview to put everything in perspective.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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This book covers a variety of topics in a somewhat cursory way..I wish the author had gone into more detail in many of the chapters as well as  used more illustrations to better explain some of the concepts.
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Although it veers into some odd spiritualist territory at the end, most of this book is an interesting survey of recent advances in cosmology and physics.  Really clear descriptions of dark energy, dark mater, Hawking's advances with black holes,  and current attempts to unify physics.  Really enjoyed how well the author explained these complex and mind bending concepts.
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A fascinating exploration of cosmic history and the forces that shape our universe. Some of this information is old, some is new, and some speculative. The author’s enthusiasm is apparent and one can’t help but feel a sense of awe while reading about the journey the greatest minds on the planet have taken in order to piece together a theory for how it all works. Interesting and a brisk read, Davies has written a great book for the lay-person. But don’t be intimidated by the scope of the topic, this book doesn’t ever take itself too seriously and there is just a sprinkle here and there of genuine Monty-Python style humor. A fun and entertaining examination of phenomenal cosmic forces.
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A truly original book, this short volume examines philosophical and even religious concepts using pure science. The author answers a series of questions, from basic physics to extraterrestrial life and even why we’re here. He explains some of the leading theories about black holes and the end of the universe. I’ve read a few books about similar subjects and some of the theses here were familiar, but examined in a totally new light. Paul Davies explains it all in easy-to-follow language. Many of the concepts sailed high above my head, but the examples he uses are relatable. I also enjoyed the illustrations, some of which made me understand parts that I hadn’t grasped just by reading. 
I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/University of Chicago Press!
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This is an amazing “beginner friendly” book on astrophysics. The author provides a quick overview on the history of cosmology, it’s historical developments as well as the current unresolved scientific mysteries. It’s an interesting and engaging read. Even the most difficult concepts are explained in the accessible manner, and I recommend this book to anyone who always wanted to learn more about our universe and its secrets, but was intimidated by the heavy maths and science aspect of it. This is a perfect book to start you off. I read several of Hawkins’ books, as well as those of deGrasse Tyson, and, personally, I found this book to be the most “digestible” to me as a layperson. For those who are familiar with the popular concepts in astrophysics, this may be a good refresher. However, if you are looking for a deeper dive into quantum mechanics, string theory and cosmology, this may not be the right book for you.
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I really enjoyed this book about cosmology and all the big ideas we still don't have an answer to. The writing was very accessible for the layman and done in an easy, conversational style. I liked that the chapters were short as it kept each topic from feeling like it was bogged down in detail. This is a good book for any who have an interest in cosmology and astrophysics.
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I am grateful to have received an advance copy of this book free of charge through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The author did a fantastic job of transforming intensely difficult concepts in theoretical physics into an easily understood popular science book. And yet, while this book is a great overview for a non-physicist of the discoveries in theoretical physics to date and the current debates that have not yet been resolved, it is also a smooth-flowing overview of the current state of discovery/theory for someone like myself who has a graduate degree in applied physics but has been out of the field for a couple of decades.

I would enthusiastically recommend this to anyone with an interest in physics!
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If you’re at all interested in the universe around you and all the important questions you can ask and have answered about it and would like this to be done by a renown physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist…this is a book for you. If not…well, that’s just sad.
     This was an excellent primer on all things pertaining to our cosmos. The author essentially brings you up to speed on all the things that matters including dark matter, so that you can be well versed in the science of cosmos as it is known now. Is it likely to change in the future? Probably. The more you learn about science the more you learn about how it only takes one genius to revolutionize our perception of it. Once there was a world before Euclidian geometry., Newtonian physics, Einsteinian theory of relativity. We now know more than we have at any previous time, but technically that is true of most times.
     I’m fascinated by all of this, not just the epistemology aspect. The universe and we do and don’t know it boggles my mind. So I’ve read and studied this quite a lot over the years and thus this book hasn’t really told be a lot of new things, but it did an excellent job of covering and refreshing previously acquired knowledge, so it was like a finetuning. A fine fineturning indeed. 
    And whether you’re looking for that or just expanding your knowledge (which should be limitless whether the universe around us is or isn’t) this smart, accessibly written, edifying book should make it on your reading list. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.
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I liked this. Just don't expect to do a deep dive on any of the wide variety of topics, which also makes it a pretty quick and easy read. Davies writes clearly and interestingly. A lot of curious people will like this one. Recommended.

Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!
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I am often drawn to books like this, but then I find, the author has written some dry, scholarly piece that is boring and difficult to understand. This book was as interesting as the best mystery, and in a way, it is like a mystery as it has taken centuries for the knowledge we now have about the universe to be discovered..

I love that Paul Davies has not only written about the latest discoveries, but has also included the names of people who have come before and worked to give us a basic background of information, and then moved on to those who built upon this knowledge. 

I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to learn about this subject and for libraries everywhere, especially schools. 

.
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I liked this book. It was short, explained a lot of cosmology, and was fun to read. It covered territory I was already familiar with, but was still a fun read.
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I read a lot of books written on cosmology and astrophysics for a lay audience.  The field doesn't change fast enough for me to get much new information this way, and this is no exception.  Davies writes in an easy manner and this is a quick read.  If anything, it needed just a little more depth for each topic.  I'd say most readers only need to read a book like this once every five years or so.  There are some interesting updates on dark energy, for instance, that readers may have missed elsewhere.  If you haven't read a book like this since the Higgs boson, you're overdue.

This could've used some more on gravitational waves, since that's a new field that's finally yielding results.  Overall I'd say it's about average for other books coming out on the topic.

The title is misleading, btw.  Not the author's fault, I'm sure, but only one short chapter addresses the subject of the title.
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