How the Universe Got Its Spots

  • by Janna Levin
  • Narrated by Christine Williams
  • 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The gifted young cosmologist Janna Levin sets out to determine the size of the universe, along the way providing an intimate look at the day-to-day life of a globe-trotting physicist. Nimbly synthesizing geometry, topology, and chaos and string theories, Levin shows how the pattern of hot and cold spots left over from the Big Bang may one day reveal the size and shape of the cosmos. She does so with such originality, lucidity, and even poetry, that How the Universe Got Its Spots becomes a thrilling and deeply personal communication between a scientist and the lay listener.

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What the Critics Say

"Lovely and utterly original....makes a reader long to meet the author." (American Scientist)
"[A] gift to those people who want to think big but came to a screeching halt about two dozen pages into...A Brief History of Time." (Discover)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Original, Entertaining and Informative

I've read several of the books that Dr. Levin references in this book so I was a little worried that this one might be a tiresome rehash of these previous works. Not so! Dr. Levin's explanation of even the more predictable topics (Flatland) are new and interesting. I found her discussion of topology particularly enlightening. The narration was also first rate. Ms. Williams didn't just read the text, she rendered an interpretation of the work that captures the passion that Dr. Levin clearly brings to her work.
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- Robert

Loved this story

I went in looking for a lot of hard physics, since the previous audiobook I'd listened to was "The Black Hole War". This touched on some physics, but not a lot - it was mostly a story of Janna Levin's life in CA and England. As a woman engineer, it was interesting to hear from another woman scientist about conferences, and career/family tradeoffs, and so forth. It's written as a series of letters to her mother, which was a neat way to present it.


The story's presentation was pretty neat. The narrator did a very good job, it was very approachable and lyrical.


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- wendy "Tell us about yourself!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-28-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.