- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 12 hours and 23 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: November 9, 2010
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004BDIZ0E
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Once Before Time: A Whole Story of the Universe Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
You will not find any chapter containing long descriptions of Einstein's light clock or the twin paradox. And, this is actually one of the good things one can state about the writing style and approach. Many of the chapters--at least at the beginning--are not torturously long. That is why I would give this book a 3+ star rating. Contrary to the reviewer above, the book is worth more than 1-star and I would not dismiss the author too quickly as there is a measure of subjectivity when reading. Some chapters are three pages in length and very readable. That is to say, you do not lose touch with where the author is going--at least during the first half of the book.Read more ›
Move over, Stephen Hawking. Make way for Penn State physics professor Martin Bojowald!
Bojowald's new book, Once Before Time: A Whole Story of the Universe, describes what may turn out to be a definitive breakthrough toward solving the greatest problem in modern physics. Though no one expects the professorial Bojowald to outsell the charismatic Stephen Hawking, Once Before Time is a more worthy successor to Hawking's 1980s mega-seller, A Brief History of Time, than is Hawking's own new book, The Grand Design.
Bojowald's story begins in 2000 when he was a 27-year-old postdoctoral researcher in cosmology at Penn State. Understanding the behavior of the universe as a whole requires a solid grasp of two remarkably successful but apparently incompatible theories: general relativity and quantum mechanics.
General relativity runs counter to our intuitive distinctions between space and time and between mass and energy. It describes gravity as the result of the warping of spacetime due to the distribution of mass-energy within it.
Quantum mechanics describes the subatomic realm, again in counter-intuitive ways. Waves and particles become two faces of the same phenomenon, described mathematically as a wave function.
The two theories, as currently constituted, are incompatible in a significant way.Read more ›
I was a bit disappointed in the lack of real hard scientific information, with most of the book appearing like an advertisement for his line of work (LQG). Some of his quote are very very oddly chosen as well (most chapters begin with a literary quote of questionable artistic merit).
The book opens with introductions to gravity and quantum theory, giving a particularly interesting account of general relativity, using the GPS as an example. These themes combine in the central chapter describing loop quantum gravity, a candidate 'theory of everything'. Essentially it is a quantum version of Ashtekar's formulation of general relativity based on space alone rather than space-time. ( Its widely followed rival, string theory, is more of a fresh start, based on complicated geometries of many dimensions. ) The fundamental unit is the loop as a quantum of space, determined by its quantised area and orientation; with space being a discrete 'wave function' of a vast grid of intersecting loops. Its successive states may be numbered in order, to play the role of time, and they evolve according to difference equations rather than the familiar differential equations. However a fully covariant list of equations has yet to be found.
A big advantage of loop quantum gravity is that infinities of compression are prevented as intense energy waves, unable to be accommodated by the grid, turn into a repulsive force. This leads to very different accounts of black holes and the big bang from those of general relativity with its singularities. In cosmology, extrapolating back to to the beginning of our universe, Bojowald himself was able to formulate and solve simplified equations to show that space would pass through a single empty cell to an inside-out 'mirror' space, where each loop has a reversed orientation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent book for the lay reader on the current attempt to apply loop quantum gravity to cosmology. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mead C. Whorton Jr.
Too many words for the substance. Otherwise, informative. Other books such as those by Brian Green, or John Gribben or Alexander Vilenkin are more to the point.Published 22 months ago by Nature Painter
Reasonably well written by an active cosmologist familiar with the latest ideas on loop quantum gravity and cosmology. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Roderick S. Cowley
With a brilliant literary style and a refreshing quest for clarity, Martin Bojowald, in his new book, Once Before Time: A Whole Story of the Universe, takes you on an exuberant... Read morePublished on October 23, 2013 by D. Wayne Dworsky
Martin Bojowald has done an excellent job of taking something that appears to be beyond the average person, and explaining it in a way that one does not need a Phd in Physics to... Read morePublished on September 20, 2013 by stewart wieneke
The author does a fairly good job in presnting his vew of the cosmic puzzle but I think it's wrong to claim that his book is a "whole story", but rather is just a piece of... Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by Dario Schiappa
Professionals know only too well that writing a popular science article/book is far harder than to write scientific papers for one's peers. Read morePublished on March 3, 2012 by Bavaruspex
This book is on the Rorotoko list. Professor Bojowald's interview on "Once Before Time" ran as the Rorotoko Cover Feature on March 9, 2011 (and can be read in the Rorotoko... Read morePublished on October 7, 2011 by ROROTOKO
The author has done a great job with a difficult subject. His "preamble" covering Newton's gravity, Einstein's general relativity and quantum mechanics is especially well done.Published on January 25, 2011 by bobfisch