In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist and New York Times best-selling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven's Door uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth.
Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the solar system passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs.
Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings - established and speculative - regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the universe, our galaxy, our solar system, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos' history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.
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SOME LIGHT ON DARK MATTER
remarkable book with a caveat
A lot of good inter-disciplinary science information; if you are up-to-date in the study of geological extinction events, solar system dynamics and other astrophysics, and to a lesser degree particle physics this may not be the book for you, or you may want to skip to the end. The idea the author is trying to relate is that a disc of dark matter could influence long period comet events and explain a cycle detected in their arrivals on earth and explain other astronomical details.
In order to describe how this could happen, the reader has to be brought up-to-date on the disciplines needed to understand why this idea makes sense. The author does a stellar job at making the science approachable. I learned much about many science fields listening to this book.
Whether the core idea is abandoned or refined with future data, this book was a good investment in time for the learning involved.
- A. Haase