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A new, definitive exploration of the first few seconds after the Big Bang, examining what we know and what we're still struggling to understand about the strangest period in the universe's history and the implications it holds for cosmology and physics itself

Hooper, Dan

At the Edge of Time

Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe’s First Seconds


    40,95 € / $47.00 / £37.00*

    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
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    November 2019
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    Aims and Scope

    A new look at the first few seconds after the Big Bang—and how continuing research into these moments may transform cosmology and physics

    Scientists in the past few decades have made crucial discoveries about how our cosmos evolved over the past 13.8 billion years. But there remains a critical gap in our knowledge: we still know very little about what happened in the first seconds after the Big Bang. At the Edge of Time focuses on what we have recently learned and are still striving to understand about this most essential and mysterious period of time at the beginning of cosmic history.

    Taking readers into the remarkable world of cosmology, Dan Hooper describes many of the extraordinary and perplexing questions that scientists are asking about the origin and nature of our world. Hooper examines how we are using the Large Hadron Collider and other experiments to re-create the conditions of the Big Bang and test promising theories for how and why our universe came to contain so much matter and so little antimatter. We may be poised to finally discover how dark matter was formed during our universe’s first moments, and, with new telescopes, we are also lifting the veil on the era of cosmic inflation, which led to the creation of our world as we know it.

    Wrestling with the mysteries surrounding the initial moments that followed the Big Bang, At the Edge of Time presents an accessible investigation of our universe and its origin.


    224 pages
    11 b/w illus.
    General/trade;Professional and scholarly;College/higher education;

    More ...

    Dan Hooper is a senior scientist and the head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Dark Cosmos and Nature’s Blueprint (both Smithsonian/Harper Collins). He lives in Oak Park, Illinois. Twitter @DanHooperAstro


    "Where Weinberg’s The First Three Minutes left off, Hooper’s At the Edge of Time picks up. A riveting tour of modern cosmology told by one of its savviest guides, Hooper takes us on a journey from our universe’s formerly inscrutable past to mesmerizing possible scenarios in its far future. A fascinating story that is to be savored."—Brian Keating, author of Losing the Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, and the Perils of Science's Highest Honor

    "What a journey, from the very birth of the universe to its ultimate future. In accessible fashion, Hooper's book does a great job explaining the fundamental laws of physics and showing how they play out in cosmic evolution."—Sean Carroll, author of Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime

    "At the Edge of Time clearly and cogently lays out our current understanding of the very early universe, and the prospects for future progress. In one particularly exciting section, Hooper describes the process of identifying and studying a candidate dark matter signal, from the perspective of its discoverer—this is a fascinating first-hand account of an ongoing scientific debate."—Tracy Robyn Slatyer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    "This book convincingly guides readers through some of the hottest topics in modern physics and astronomy: Big Bang theory, dark matter, dark energy, and gravitational waves. Bringing a fresh perspective, Hooper effectively captures the feelings of the community of scientists working to solve the greatest mysteries and demonstrates that a scientific revolution might be around the corner."—Gianfranco Bertone, author of Behind the Scenes of the Universe: From the Higgs to Dark Matter

    "A clear and engaging tour of the mysterious birth of our universe, At the Edge of Time will keep you at the edge of your mental seat."—Daniel Whiteson, coauthor of We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe

    "At the Edge of Time is a gripping tale of the monumental discoveries and unsolved mysteries in cosmology. Well-written and exciting, Hooper’s book leads us from the early days of Einstein to the puzzles of the modern era, as well as through the author’s own adventures in the search for answers. He lays out these challenges in a way that will inspire a future generation of young scientists."—Katherine Freese, author of The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter

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