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Out of this World

Colliding Universes, Branes, Strings, and Other Wild Ideas of Modern Physics

  • Stephen Webb

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Stephen Webb
    Pages 1-8
  3. Stephen Webb
    Pages 9-28
  4. Stephen Webb
    Pages 29-48
  5. Stephen Webb
    Pages 49-77
  6. Stephen Webb
    Pages 79-112
  7. Stephen Webb
    Pages 113-139
  8. Stephen Webb
    Pages 141-152
  9. Stephen Webb
    Pages 153-180
  10. Stephen Webb
    Pages 181-206
  11. Stephen Webb
    Pages 207-224
  12. Stephen Webb
    Pages 225-244
  13. Stephen Webb
    Pages 245-286
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 287-308

About this book

Introduction

Seeing beyond the Big Bang. . .

Although it is now almost unanimously accepted that the cosmos started with the Big Bang, we still have no plausible theory for the forces that set this creative cataclysm in motion. Some of the most profound questions of modern science arise out of the difficulties scientists have explaining how our Universe was born. What happened, indeed what was, before the Big Bang? During the past few years cosmologists have begun to develop new ideas, sometimes fantastic, that are beginning to shed light on such questions.

In OUT OF THIS WORLD, Stephen Webb examines these amazing recent theories. After introducing general relativity and quantum mechnanics-the twin foundations of twentieth-century physics-he explains how they are fundamentally incompatible. Then, in a series of increasingly astonishing chapters, he introduces us to the seemingly outlandish and bizarre proposals-from almost unbelievably small particles to huge membranes that may envelope the Universe-that physicists have devised to account for this incompatibility, ultimately leading us to wholly new realms of understanding.

Webb makes these strange and wonderful goings-on accessible, engaging, and enjoyable, conveying not just what theorists have begun to believe about the cosmos, but the awe and excitement felt by scientists as this new picture of the Universe slowly emerges.

Keywords

Big Bang Gravity Universe modern physics particle physics physics standard model supergravity supersymmetry symmetry

Authors and affiliations

  • Stephen Webb
    • 1
  1. 1.Milton KeynesUK

Bibliographic information