The Matter Myth: Dramatic Discoveries That Challenge Our Understanding of Physical Reality

Paul Davies, Author, Paul Davies, Author, John R. Gribbin, With Simon & Schuster $24.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-72840-3
Recent breakthroughs in physics are causing a revolution in how scientists view the universe, according to Davies ( The Cosmic Blueprint ) and Gribbin ( In Search of the Big Bang ). The authors survey the discoveries that have caused this shift from the traditional mechanistic worldview (which sees the universe as ``a gigantic purposeless machine'') to a less rigidly determined one that includes chaos, black holes, antimatter and even the possibility of multiple universes. They explore how it would feel to be swallowed by a black hole (one would be stretched and squeezed before being crushed into nonexistence) and why going through a wormhole, a kind of space tunnel, would allow one to travel backward in time. The authors explain why cosmic strings (which may stretch across the universe and outweigh galaxies) could fit into a single atom and how space can be curved. This accessible work also examines fundamental questions such as how the universe's ``big bang'' origin probably sealed its fate (it will end in a reverse process known as the ``big crunch'') and whether time is real or simply an illusion. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-671-72841-0
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