The Cosmic Cocktail

  • by Katherine Freese
  • Narrated by Tamara Marston
  • 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The ordinary atoms that make up the known universe - from our bodies and the air we breathe to the planets and stars - constitute only 5 percent of all matter and energy in the cosmos. The rest is known as dark matter and dark energy, because their precise identities are unknown. The Cosmic Cocktail is the inside story of the epic quest to solve one of the most compelling enigmas of modern science - what is the universe made of? - told by one of today’s foremost pioneers in the study of dark matter.
Blending cutting-edge science with her own behind-the-scenes insights as a leading researcher in the field, acclaimed theoretical physicist Katherine Freese recounts the hunt for dark matter, from the discoveries of visionary scientists like Fritz Zwicky - the Swiss astronomer who coined the term “dark matter” in 1933 - to the deluge of data today from underground laboratories, satellites in space, and the Large Hadron Collider. Theorists contend that dark matter consists of fundamental particles known as WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles. Billions of them pass through our bodies every second without us even realizing it, yet their gravitational pull is capable of whirling stars and gas at breakneck speeds around the centers of galaxies, and bending light from distant bright objects. Freese describes the larger-than-life characters and clashing personalities behind the race to identify these elusive particles.
Many cosmologists believe we are on the verge of solving the mystery. The Cosmic Cocktail provides the foundation needed to fully fathom this epochal moment in humankind’s quest to understand the universe.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I was looking for a book about science....

I have been trying to read as many books about matter and particle physics. I love science but never had the opportunity to go to university and pursue it as a career. Instead I relay on those in the field to relay their understanding of the universe to this uneducated fool. I generally run into two types of books. The first delve into the science and they can sometimes be confusing. I have struggled with a few books that really got into quantum physics, but I am trying. It's important because we all need to know more about how our world works and be scientifically literate. I consider there to be an unwritten pact between us laymen and scientists. We provide public resources for scientists to pursue their fields of study and in return relay that information back to us so we all can have a better understanding of things.

This book is not like that. There is talk of dinners with the president or going out for drinks with other scientists and mingling at science folk get togethers. There is an awful lot of "wow the universe is mysterious, gosh golly I am lucky to be a scientists". That's what really angers me. I want to know more about dark matter. I know we don't know a lot but talk about what we do and don't know. Talk about these difficulties.

DO NOT write about your tennis match or dinner parties and call it a science book.
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- Jeff

great writing and level, but not sure if true

very interesting stuff. I was happy with the technical level, which is not low.

unfortunately, reading this in 2017, after the discovery of the Radial Acceleration Relation (and being aware of it, and also McGaugh's blog), is a bit of a challenge. I know that no experiment, including all those mentioned in the book, has found anything (well, except for the DAMA claims). The author, with the rest of the mainstream cosmology community, seem a like a cult. The short mention of MOND for the sole purpose of quickly dismissing it is very telling.
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- Dror Speiser

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-03-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios