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Wrinkles in Time Paperback – October 1, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0380720446 ISBN-10: 0380720442 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380720442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380720446
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,258,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This remarkably captivating work of cosmology recounts Berkeley astrophysicist Smoot's efforts to uncover the origins of the universe.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In April 1992 a scientific team led by Berkeley astrophysicist Smoot analyzed data gathered by NASA's COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) satellite and discovered the oldest known objects in the universe--so called "wrinkles" in time--thus finding a long-anticipated missing piece in the Big Bang cosmological model. The story of Smoot's breakthrough, though, began some 20 years ago. Along the way, he experienced numerous setbacks, frustrations, and dramatic moments. Some of the team's adventures include searching for a lost hot-air balloon in the Badlands of South Dakota, conducting upper-atmosphere tests from U-2 spy planes based in Peru, and gathering data from a scientific research station at the South Pole. While the book starts slowly, it steadily gathers momentum as Smoot recounts the events of his career, the colorful people with whom he has worked, and his personal thoughts leading up to the triumphant discovery. This readable and genuinely exciting piece of popular science writing is recommended for all libraries.
- Gregg Sapp, Montana State Univ. Libs., Bozeman
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The book is very well written and easy to understand.
This is an interesting and well written book by the person that lived the adventure of scientific discovery.
J. Carlson
I would especially recommend this book to young researchers.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
George Smooth is one of those brilliant scientists you expect to write a book with a lot of equations and boring text, the scientific stuff. Well, Smoot does a wonderful job in this text by getting his readers to start out with the basics of science and scientific history in a simple and easy-to-understand-and-comprehend way, and gradually leading you on in a very interesting manner to the subject of the book: the big bang and the echo of the noise it made. No boring stuff. That was the first reason I liked the book; the second was that it shows you that to prove something in science is not easy: it takes one heck of a lot of grunt work and time-consuming experimentation along with a lot of travel and a lot of trials to prove your point. In this book, Smoot shows us that the apparent (to us) "boring" life of a scientist or learned professor is actually not boring at all, but persevering and exciting (and at time disappointing and frustrating), and, if you prove your hypothesis, quite ennobling. - This book also does something that few other authors has attempted: he lists in the back of the book many hundreds of those who have helped him in his task, which makes you realize that in today's world no scientist operates alone, but necessarily acts as the leader of his/her scientific project. A really nice guy and superb author.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jane Richards on March 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Stephen Hawking, one of the most prominent geniuses of our time, called George Smoot and his colleagues' discovery of wrinkles in time, "the scientific discovery of the century, if not of all time." The cosmological discovery of ripples in the universe's background radiation has indeed changed our concept of the origins of an expanding and evolving universe. In the words of George Smoot: "Our discovery of the wrinkles in the fabric of time is part of that eternal quest and marks an important step forward in this golden age of technology. Suddenly, pieces of a larger puzzle begin to fall together: Inflation looks stronger, and dark matter more real. Our faith in the big bang is revitalized... The creativity of the universe is its most potent force, forming through time the matter and structures of stars and galaxies, and, ultimately, us. The wrinkles are the core of that creativity, assembling structure from homogeneity." Perhaps one does not understand such complex terms as "background radiation," as was my case when I began reading Wrinkles in Time. The authors, George Smoot and Keay Davidson, successfully explain these complicated concepts in lay terms. The book first guides the reader through the history modern cosmological theory, beginning with Ptolemy's picture of the Universe through to the origin of the Big Bang theory formulated by Georges-Henri Lemaître. Once the reader understands the evolution of cosmology and astrophysics, George Smoot begins his detailed account of the search for "dipoles," "quadrupoles," and, ultimately, "wrinkles in time.Read more ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Neel on December 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Einstein, who was devoted to a rational explanation of the world, once said: `I want to know how god created the world. I want to know his thoughts.' He meant it metaphorically, as a measure profundity of his quest." - George Smoot
Wrinkles in time, written by George Smoot and Keay Davidson, is an excellent book if you are interested in cosmology like me, or if you are looking for something to read about how the `big bang hypothesis' was proved into theory, especially if you are in favor of it.
The first part of the book had beneficial knowledge about particle physics. It included different types of dark matter such as baryonic, non-baryonic, cold, hot, etc. It explains the physical, chemical, and nuclear phase transitions of matter, which goes from solid to liquid to gas to plasma and then protons. In this part the author also explains theories such as the big bang theory, predictions, discoveries, and mysteries of the cosmos.
To me the first part was also more exciting than the second part where George Smoot is on a `journey of exploring the Cosmic Background History'. This is the part where the author pursues the `holy grail of science' and at last is allowed to send up his satellite whose data is unbelievable so he goes on an expedition to Antarctica to collect data from the South Pole by his own hands. At last George finds his reason for himself rejecting the data. The book ends with him going to the press to reveal his data and final conclusions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wesley L. Janssen VINE VOICE on April 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Smoot's book chronicles the excitement, frustrations, and adventure of the work of science, focusing on his careful efforts and eventual triumph with the COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) satellite project. Stephen Hawking calls Smoot's observations "the scientific discovery of the century, if not all time". The reader easily comes to identify with the author and his work -- "In the predawn darkness, not far away, fifteen years of work were sitting atop many tons of high explosives. If it blew to bits, what would I do? ... I had seen the [Delta] rocket close up, and had been aghast at how decrepit it looked, rusting here and there... Our professional life's work was on top of that thing. We didn't say a word, only silent prayers."
The author explains well the theories, predictions, discoveries, and conundrums of cosmology. The explanation of Guth's inflation theory is particularly lucid. In summarizing the startling discoveries of recent astrophysical observation, Smoot reposes in the wonder of the created order with these words: "[Steven] Weinberg muses... 'The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.' I must disagree with my old teacher. To me the universe seems quite the opposite of pointless... The more we learn, the more we see ... there is an underlying unity to the sea of matter and stars and galaxies ... we are learning that nature is as it is not because it is the chance consequence of a random series of meaningless events; quite the opposite."
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