Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe
Lisa Randall. Ecco Press at HarperCollins, Oct 2015
In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist and New York Times bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Door uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth.
Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs.
Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings—established and speculative—regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos’ history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.
Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space
Lisa Randall. Ecco Press at HarperCollins, July 2012 (Kindle Edition); Random House, July 2012 (Paperback).
On July 4, 2012, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva made history when they discovered an entirely new type of subatomic particle that many scientists believe is the Higgs boson. For forty years, physicists searched for this capstone to the Standard Model of particle physics—the theory that describes both the most elementary components that are known in matter and the forces through which they interact. This particle points to the Higgs field, which provides the key to understanding why elementary particles have mass. In Higgs Discovery, Lisa Randall explains the science behind this monumental discovery, its exhilarating implications, and the power of empty space.
Knocking on Heaven't Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World
Lisa Randall. Ecco Press at HarperCollins, Sept. 2011 (Hardcover, Kindle Edition, MP3 CD; Paperback ); Random House, Sept. 2011 (Paperback).
From one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, a rousing defense of the role of science in our lives.
The latest developments in physics have the potential to radically revise our understanding of the world: its makeup, its evolution, and the fundamental forces that drive its operation. Knocking on Heaven’s Door is an exhilarating and accessible overview of these developments and an impassioned argument for the significance of science.
There could be no better guide than Lisa Randall. The bestselling author of Warped Passages is an expert in both particle physics (the study of the smallest objects we know of) and cosmology (the study of the largest). In Knocking on Heaven’s Door, she explores how we decide which scientific questions to study and how we go about answering them. She examines the role of risk, creativity, uncertainty, beauty, and truth in scientific thinking through provocative conversations with leading figures in other fields (such as the chef David Chang, the forecaster Nate Silver, and the screenwriter Scott Derrickson), and she explains with wit and clarity the latest ideas in physics and cosmology. Randall describes the nature and goals of the largest machine ever built: the Large Hadron Collider, the enormous particle accelerator below the border of France and Switzerland—as well as recent ideas underlying cosmology and current dark matter experiments.
The most sweeping and exciting science book in years, Knocking on Heaven’s Door makes clear the biggest scientific questions we face and reveals how answering them could ultimately tell us who we are and where we came from.
Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions
Lisa Randall. Allen Lane at Penguin, June 2005 (eBook, Paperback); Ecco Press at HarperCollins, Sept. 2005 (Hardcover, Kindle Edition, Paperback).
The universe has many secrets. It may hide additional dimensions of space other than the familier three we recognize. There might even be another universe adjacent to ours, invisible and unattainable . . . for now.
Warped Passages is a brilliantly readable and altogether exhilarating journey that tracks the arc of discovery from early twentieth-century physics to the razor's edge of modern scientific theory. One of the world's leading theoretical physicists, Lisa Randall provides astonishing scientific possibilities that, until recently, were restricted to the realm of science fiction. Unraveling the twisted threads of the most current debates on relativity, quantum mechanics, and gravity, she explores some of the most fundamental questions posed by Nature—taking us into the warped, hidden dimensions underpinning the universe we live in, demystifying the science of the myriad worlds that may exist just beyond our own.