The Natural History of the Universe: From the Big Bang to the End of Time

Colin A. Ronan, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $39.95 (212p) ISBN 978-0-02-604511-7
Ronan ( The Practical Astronomer ) here renders the comic-arcane concepts of subatomic physics (``strange attractor'' particles) and astrophysics (cosmic superstrings and the grand unified theory) visible to the mind's eye. In this dynamic, highly formatted treatment, the graphics--drawings and photographs, often computer enhanced--illustrate brief sections of text that read like a script in search of a TV series. The required ``grand tour'' of the solar system is strengthened by data from Soviet and other recent planetary probes and by well-conceived combinations of deep-space photography and diagrams. A short detour into biological topics, while admirable, jars the chronology and scale of the book, in which the physical history of the universe, from Bang to Bounce, is dominant. This presentation nonetheless effectively harnesses imagination in the service of science. Astronomy Book Club selection. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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