Edge of the Universe and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Edge of the Universe: A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond
 
 


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Edge of the Universe on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Edge of the Universe: A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond [Hardcover]

Paul Halpern
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

List Price: $27.95
Price: $20.87 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
You Save: $7.08 (25%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 7 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Wednesday, Sept. 24? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
‹  Return to Product Overview

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Outstanding title!  Edge of the Universe is a unique addition to the plethora of cosmology books written for the well-versed layperson.  Highly recommended."
--Choice

"Halpern writes for the educated layperson, and excels at using analogies to describe abstract astronomical concepts in terms easier to understand ... This book offers a useful, highly readable overview of the topic."
--The Space Review

"Halpern breaks down complex concepts such as the big bang, dark energy, dark flow, dark matter and why the edge of the universe is speeding farther and farther away from us."
--The Washington Post

"A fantastic romp along the frontiers of modern cosmology--and beyond."
--Dr. Cliff Pickover, author of The Physics Book

"A delightful introduction to all the major topics in modern cosmology. In user-friendly language, Halpern manages to describe the ins and outs of this complex subject, from the well-established to the highly speculative. Truly a remarkable accomplishment."
--Gino Segre, author of Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics

"Cosmology today is more exciting than it has ever been in its 2500-year history.  In this lively book, Halpern explains why and leaves us desperate to see what surprises the universe has in store."
--Graham Farmelo, author of The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom

"Edge of the Universe is a breezy romp through the universe as we know it.  Paul Halpern covers all the big topics in cosmology with a crisp and engaging tone, at a level that even a novice can follow, and pairs it with pop cultural references and very engaging scientific history."
--Dave Goldberg, author of A User's Guide to the Universe

From the Author

What mysteries lurk beyond the edge of the observable universe?  Could the observable universe represent a mere drop in an endless cosmic sea?  If so, could there be signs of outside influences in the relic radiation leftover from the Big Bang?  Modern astronomy's astonishing achievements have placed it in an ideal position to tackle such profound riddles.

These are extraordinary times for humanity's quest to understand the universe.  Cosmology has entered an age of unprecedented precision.  Long sought questions such as the age and shape of the universe have finally been resolved.  We now know that the time since the Big Bang is 13.8 billion years.  In contrast to earlier views that space could be curved or saddle-shaped, we now know that it is as flat as a pancake. 

Yet, despite these tremendous advances, science has come to realize that much of the universe is made of unknown substances and influences.  Approximately 95 percent of the universe is made of dark energy and dark matter, with about 5 percent constituting the familiar stuff of atoms, molecules, people, and planets.  Dark energy makes itself felt through its unseen influence on galaxies, causing them to move away from each other at a faster and faster pace.  Dark matter, on the other hand, steers the outer stars of galaxies, binding them to galactic cores.  It also supplies the gravitational "glue" needed to keep clusters of galaxies intact.  Experiments have failed so far to reveal the true nature of these mysterious entities.

These are far from the only cosmological enigmas.  A strange dark flow seems to be driving galaxy clusters toward an unknown destination.   Scientists wonder if it could be a sign of tugs from regions beyond the observable universe.  Indeed the theory of inflation, the leading explanation for why the observable is relatively uniform, offers the intriguing possibility that our universe is a mere bubble in an immeasurably vast multiverse.  Researchers are examining the cosmic microwave background searching for signs of collisions with other universes.

The cosmic microwave background offers ample conundrums.  A strange alignment, called the "axis of evil," has perplexed astronomers.  While other oddities, such as Stephen Hawking's initials displayed in the radio sky, can be explained by coincidence, could the "axis of evil" represent a preferred direction in the cosmos?  Cosmic dragons, unidentified sources lurking in the gamma-ray fog, offer another intriguing puzzle. 

Is time travel possible?  Does the universe have unseen extra dimensions?  Could an advanced civilization construct traversable wormholes to expedite interstellar travel?  What is the fate of the universe?  Could there have been cycles of time before the Big Bang?

Edge of the Universe:  A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond
explores these mysteries and more.  It offers a passport to the frontiers of contemporary cosmology, examining the latest discoveries and debates in the scientific quest to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

From the Inside Flap

How big is the observable universe?

What is it made of?

What lies beyond it?

Was there a time before the Big Bang?

Could space have unseen dimensions?

In Edge of the Universe, award-winning physicist and celebrated author Paul Halpern explores what science has discovered about the far reaches of space and examines the questions they raise about the origin, the development, and the very makeup of the universe.

Halpern reveals how twenty-first century technologies have helped scientists solve mysteries that have puzzled philosophers and other thinkers for millennia. He explains how astronomers have been able to pin down the age of the universe, amass a trove of data that describes the primordial era of the cosmos, and offer strong evidence of how the universe has developed since the Big Bang. He reports on a remarkable quest to gauge the shape, size, and fate of the universe using powerful telescopes, delicate microwave receivers, sophisticated computer algorithms, and a host of other tools for capturing light waves from across the spectrum.

Despite the high precision of these light-gathering instruments, it is perplexing that galaxies are guided by substances and forces we cannot see: dark matter and dark energy. Dark matter, Halpern explains, accounts for approximately 23 percent of all the material in the universe; yet despite multiple experiments, its identity remains unknown. Dark energy, the force that causes the accelerating expansion, accounts for more than 72 percent of everything in the universe. Yet another find, an enormous movement of galaxy clusters called dark flow, hints of unseen influences from beyond the observable universe.

The concept of multiple or parallel universes may sound like pure science fiction, but it has emerged as a potentially plausible explanation for dark matter, dark energy, and dark flow. Halpern explores several multiverse models as well as the even more mind-bending notion that our observable universe is a hologram and that everything that happens in it might be written on its edge.

Prepare to discover cosmic dragons lurking in gamma-ray fog, bottomless pits, and looking-glass worlds. Keep an eye out for portals into hidden realms, and don't be surprised if you should happen upon an immense axis of evil piercing the cosmic background. These and many other wonders await you in Edge of the Universe.

From the Back Cover

Advance Praise for Edge of the Universe

"Edge of the Universe is a breezy romp through the universe as we know it. Paul Halpern covers all of the big topics in cosmology with a crisp and engaging tone, at a level that even a novice can follow, and pairs it with pop cultural references and very engaging scientific history. He gives a grand view of not only what we know, but also what we don't entirely understand, from inflation and the edge of the universe to the 'Axis of Evil' in the cosmic microwave background and the dark flow of galaxies."
Dave Goldberg, io9.com contributor and coauthor of A User's Guide to the Universe

"Cosmology today is more exciting than it has ever been in its 2,500-year history. In this lively book, Halpern explains why and leaves us desperate to see what surprises the universe has in store."
—Graham Farmelo, author of The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom

"A delightful introduction to all the major topics in modern cosmology. In user-friendly language, Halpern manages to describe the ins and outs of this complex subject, from the well-established to the highly speculative. This is truly a remarkable accomplishment."
Gino Segré, author of Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics

"A fantastic romp along the frontiers of modern cosmology—and beyond. Halpern makes us wonder about our place in the vast universe, both in space and time, and marvel at the mystery of dark matter, dark energy, extra dimensions, parallel universes, and so much more."
Dr. Clifford Pickover, author of The Physics Book: From the Big Bang to Quantum Resurrection, 250 Milestones in the History of Physics

"In this lively, fast-paced, and authoritative book, Paul Halpern takes us not only to the edge of the universe but to the edge of our knowledge of the universe."
Marcus Chown, author of Solar System: A Visual Exploration of the Planets, Moons, and Other Heavenly Bodies that Orbit Our Sun

About the Author

Acclaimed science writer and physicist Dr. Paul Halpern is the author of more than a dozen popular science books, exploring the subjects of space, time, higher dimensions, particle physics, and other topics.  His books include Collider: The Search for the World's Smallest Particles and What's Science Ever Done for Us?  What the Simpsons Can Teach Us about Physics, Robots, Life, and the Universe.  He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, and an Athenaeum Literary Award.  A regular contributor to NOVA's "The Nature of Reality" physics blog, he has appeared on numerous radio and television shows including "Future Quest" and "The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special."
‹  Return to Product Overview