Author: Evalyn Gates
Publisher: WW Norton
Apologies to Evalyn Gates, but it would be wonderful if this book – subtitled ‘The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe’ – soon became obsolete.
After all, cosmologists still have no idea about what the Universe is made of: mysterious dark matter is thought to make up 23 per cent, while 72 per cent is dark energy.
The book chronicles the bewildering developments in cosmology over the past quarter century or so, and it is a real tribute to the perseverance of theoretical physicists, astronomers and instrument builders, who joined forces in one of the biggest quests in the history of science.
It’s also a tribute to high-quality science writing.
Gates, who is assistant director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, goes into all the nitty-gritty of particle physics, relativity and gravitational lensing without losing her readers, thanks to her clear prose and well-chosen analogies.
It may not be a bedside book – it even contains mathematical formulae – but if you want the latest insights in cosmology, you won’t be disappointed.
Govert Schilling is the author of
The Hunt For Planet X