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Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe

£10.99 £9.90

Written by the American theoretical physicist and Harvard professor Lisa Randall, I held very high expectations of this book. The book is made up of three main parts: The Development of the Universe, An Active Solar System and Deciphering Dark Matters Identity. 

Part one - The Development of the Universe discusses the topic of dark energy. Dark energy as the reader finds out is known as a cosmological constant. Randall talks the reader through dark energy by speaking of how it is determined. Randall also gives the reader a very detailed history of the universe and provides evidence of the Big Bang Theory. 

Part two - An Active Solar System is an introduction for the reader into the very exciting topic of near-Earth objects. Randall discusses the impact and eventual extinction of dinosaurs due to meteorites. 

Part three - Deciphering Dark Matters Identity takes the reader through a range of paradigms in order to identify what exactly dark matter is. The main event of part three is Randall’s own theory of double-disk dark matter. 

I found this book to be a very fascinating read. I particularly enjoyed reading about how the characteristics of the Bullet Cluster can help us to determine this matter of dark energy. Randall's new theory gave me a new perspective on dark matter and its relationship to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Although this seems pretty controversial I felt Randall gave a reasonable explanation for her theory. 

As interesting as this book was, I found some aspects of this book quite disappointing. The subject matter in the title only accounted for a small portion of the book. I would have also expected a book written by a theoretical physicist to be more organised than what it was. I disliked many of the personal anecdotes that Randall chose to write about. They didn't seem to relate to the subject matter at hand.

Overall I would recommend this read. Randall does a good job of explaining scientific terms to novice science readers, she is also a very articulate writer. Dinosaur enthusiasts will particularly enjoy this book. Her theory of double-disk dark matter may not appeal to all. It does, however, broaden the readers' mind. The discovery of answers lays in the questioning, and this book will definitely leave the reader with questions. 

 

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