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The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)

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From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an accessible and eye-opening look—in the bestselling tradition of Sean Carroll and Carlo Rovelli—at the five different ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in physics. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it went from a From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an accessible and eye-opening look—in the bestselling tradition of Sean Carroll and Carlo Rovelli—at the five different ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in physics. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it went from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from dark matter to black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life. But what happens at the end of the story? In billions of years, humanity could still exist in some unrecognizable form, venturing out to distant space, finding new homes and building new civilizations. But the death of the universe is final. What might such a cataclysm look like? And what does it mean for us? Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was eighteen, when her astronomy professor first informed her the universe could end at any moment, setting her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she unpacks them in The End of Everything, taking us on a mind-bending tour through each of the cosmos’ possible finales: the Big Crunch; the Heat Death; Vacuum Decay; the Big Rip; and the Bounce. In the tradition of Neil DeGrasse’s bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Mack guides us through major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, in a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of everything we know.


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From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an accessible and eye-opening look—in the bestselling tradition of Sean Carroll and Carlo Rovelli—at the five different ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in physics. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it went from a From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an accessible and eye-opening look—in the bestselling tradition of Sean Carroll and Carlo Rovelli—at the five different ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in physics. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it went from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from dark matter to black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life. But what happens at the end of the story? In billions of years, humanity could still exist in some unrecognizable form, venturing out to distant space, finding new homes and building new civilizations. But the death of the universe is final. What might such a cataclysm look like? And what does it mean for us? Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was eighteen, when her astronomy professor first informed her the universe could end at any moment, setting her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she unpacks them in The End of Everything, taking us on a mind-bending tour through each of the cosmos’ possible finales: the Big Crunch; the Heat Death; Vacuum Decay; the Big Rip; and the Bounce. In the tradition of Neil DeGrasse’s bestseller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Mack guides us through major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, in a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of everything we know.

49 review for The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    Whenever I read about the vastness of the universe, I feel like I travel in time. We see distant galaxies billions of years in the past and I wonder how they look like now. Cosmology is a difficult astronomy field – not that the others are much easier for a layman – but a very compelling one. Everything related to the origins or the end of the universe has a strong attraction to me. That’s the main reason for choosing this book and the fact that I heard/read some of AstroKatie’s talks/tweets and I Whenever I read about the vastness of the universe, I feel like I travel in time. We see distant galaxies billions of years in the past and I wonder how they look like now. Cosmology is a difficult astronomy field – not that the others are much easier for a layman – but a very compelling one. Everything related to the origins or the end of the universe has a strong attraction to me. That’s the main reason for choosing this book and the fact that I heard/read some of AstroKatie’s talks/tweets and I liked the way she talked. Unfortunately, it was not the case with this book. Albeit very interesting, the writing almost ruined it for me. She digresses so much that you forgot what the main thread was. On addition, the author explains almost every concept used in phrases. Not that these are not interesting; it’s just too much and it scrambles the whole narrative. If a reader chooses to read this book, I assume it has some physics/astronomy knowledge and doesn’t need everything explained; it’s supposed to be a popularizing science book, not a school one. All these diversions would have worked much better as footnotes, not included in the narrative thread. As for the actual footnotes, which are meant to be witty, mostly they are not and do not add anything of value to the book; on the contrary, along with all the parenthesis, digressions, and explanations, they just divert the reader’s attention to the point that you begin to feel exasperated. It’s one thing to tweet or give a five minutes talk and sound great and an utterly different thing to write a book. Maybe her next one will be better. It’s not a book to avoid, but wait for your brains to be jumbled not only by the concepts, which was expected, but by the writing too, which was not. >>> ARC received thanks to Penguin Press UK – Allen Lane via NetGalley <<<

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

    Katie Mack takes us on a delightfully dark journey, explaining in vivid detail five different ways the entire Universe could end. I don’t tend to read a lot of popular astronomy books, because they either tell me things I already knew, or explain things in a way that’s clumsily stuck between plain English and scientific terminology but doing justice to neither. None of this is the case here though. I learned so many new things, plus was presented with insightful explanations of ideas I already u Katie Mack takes us on a delightfully dark journey, explaining in vivid detail five different ways the entire Universe could end. I don’t tend to read a lot of popular astronomy books, because they either tell me things I already knew, or explain things in a way that’s clumsily stuck between plain English and scientific terminology but doing justice to neither. None of this is the case here though. I learned so many new things, plus was presented with insightful explanations of ideas I already understood but had previously felt had always been explained badly. Some of the analogies to convey complex concepts, like cyclic universes and the cosmic microwave background, are truly superb, and have permanently deepened and shifted my understanding. Crystal clear explanations of advanced concepts, coverage of the very latest theories and ideas, and a sense of wry humour throughout all make this book something unique and special. No matter what your level of knowledge going in, you’ll come away from “The End of Everything” with a profound new understanding of cosmic doom, but also with a sense of empowerment that defies our inevitable destruction. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Great science writing I enjoyed this book. Katie Mack has a relaxed, casual writing style and the book felt more like a discussion over a cup of coffee. She shows a good sense of humor and the footnotes are definitely worth reading. Despite the complexity of the subject matter, Mack weaves a compelling tale about the future of the universe. Not a lot of jargon is used and the writing style is conversational. Mack weaves herself into the story making the book a type of journey. Normally, I don’t l Great science writing I enjoyed this book. Katie Mack has a relaxed, casual writing style and the book felt more like a discussion over a cup of coffee. She shows a good sense of humor and the footnotes are definitely worth reading. Despite the complexity of the subject matter, Mack weaves a compelling tale about the future of the universe. Not a lot of jargon is used and the writing style is conversational. Mack weaves herself into the story making the book a type of journey. Normally, I don’t like when scientists wax philosophical, but in this book, this was done splendidly. I recommend this book for anyone interested in science. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley for review purposes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    Looks interesting -- and short. But my GR pal Claudia didn't like it at all! Which is why I hadn't TBRd until now. More good reviews have appeared since hers, and here's one from a guy Carol. lhttps://evilcyclist.wordpress.com/202... "With all the science books out there, why choose Mack’s book? ... I have not read a more inviting scientist than Mack since Sagan. She has that manner of talking to an old friend. It encourages to reader to continue. She also has a sense of humor and probably the mo Looks interesting -- and short. But my GR pal Claudia didn't like it at all! Which is why I hadn't TBRd until now. More good reviews have appeared since hers, and here's one from a guy Carol. lhttps://evilcyclist.wordpress.com/202... "With all the science books out there, why choose Mack’s book? ... I have not read a more inviting scientist than Mack since Sagan. She has that manner of talking to an old friend. It encourages to reader to continue. She also has a sense of humor and probably the most enjoyable footnotes I have ever read. ... Mack not only makes cosmology and physics understandable she makes it inviting. There is an enthusiasm for sharing knowledge that is missing in many other books on similar subjects. That enthusiasm is contagious and welcoming. She will give the reader an understanding of the big picture of cosmology as well as a few Douglas Adams references. Extremely well done."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paperclippe

    Do you, like me, love footnotes? Then buckle up, friendo, because this is the book for you. Katie Mack is world-renowned in some circles, which is to say, the best circles, for her Twitter account, where she is hilarious, sensitive, and able to explain the most complicated physics concepts not just so that even the layest of laypeople can understand them, but so that those same people can have a good laugh, too. The End of Everything is all that and more. I've got a big, big soft spot for eschatol Do you, like me, love footnotes? Then buckle up, friendo, because this is the book for you. Katie Mack is world-renowned in some circles, which is to say, the best circles, for her Twitter account, where she is hilarious, sensitive, and able to explain the most complicated physics concepts not just so that even the layest of laypeople can understand them, but so that those same people can have a good laugh, too. The End of Everything is all that and more. I've got a big, big soft spot for eschatology, so I started this book with high, high hopes, and not for a single moment did Mack let me down. She takes the reader on a tour of all the exciting, horrifying, and strangely beautiful ways that all this - and I do mean all this - might eventually come to an end. From the heat death of the universe to the big rip, Mack goes into stirring and vivid details about the ways in which we might eventually say goodbye to everything* - and maybe even say hello again. *We, of course, won't be saying anything - we'll have been swallowed up by the sun long before then.** **Assuming no bubbles come and swallow us up.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kriti | Armed with A Book

    I love reading books about science and this one is, by far, my favorite. Katie is a humorous narrator and she does a fantastic job at presenting hard concepts to readers, using everyday examples to make us understand the gravity of the situation and the intuition behind the theories. Through The End of Everything I learned about the multiple ways in which the universe can end. I enjoyed revisiting concepts I had learned back in my high school Physics class and their advanced applications. I love I love reading books about science and this one is, by far, my favorite. Katie is a humorous narrator and she does a fantastic job at presenting hard concepts to readers, using everyday examples to make us understand the gravity of the situation and the intuition behind the theories. Through The End of Everything I learned about the multiple ways in which the universe can end. I enjoyed revisiting concepts I had learned back in my high school Physics class and their advanced applications. I loved the theological side of the book and learning about the varying perspectives in the branches of physics about the different theories. This book not only made physics more accessible to me, it also brought me up to speed on a number of developments that we don't realize the importance of in every day life since they get glanced over. The amount of time and effort put by scientists into understand our universe is commendable and this book does a phenomenal job of bringing the effort to the forefront of the mind. Full of knowledge that you will not regret gaining, I highly recommend this book! Many thanks to the publisher for providing me a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. I look forward to diving deeper into what I learned and sharing that on publication day!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

    This is a short book, but a dense read. Some concepts went way over my head but, over all, the author does a great job of making most of the content understandable for those of us not conversant in astrophysics. She discusses several theories about the end of the universe. If this is something that doesn't normally worry you, think again, since apparently some theories say that it could happen, not billions of years in the future, but at any moment. Even now. Dr. Mack also includes an easy to fo This is a short book, but a dense read. Some concepts went way over my head but, over all, the author does a great job of making most of the content understandable for those of us not conversant in astrophysics. She discusses several theories about the end of the universe. If this is something that doesn't normally worry you, think again, since apparently some theories say that it could happen, not billions of years in the future, but at any moment. Even now. Dr. Mack also includes an easy to follow overview of the history of, well, everything. The tone is straightforward and full of humor. When a longer explanation is required - one that usually takes people with high iQs years of training to even begin to grasp - she does a good job of giving readers the basics to at least get a general idea of the subject. Interesting. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/ Scribner!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    I had not heard of Katie Mack before getting this book and, wow, was I missing out! I'm certainly no astrophysicist but The End of everything was perfectly understandable. The author explains several ways in which the universe will end and she makes it make sense! If, like me, you are curious about the end of the universe and what could happen, get this book! It's amazing!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    sent to me for review

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Lauren

    I really enjoyed this book about what might happen at the end of the universe. The science is fascinating, even though there is no guarantee that it won't change in the future. It is entertaining to contemplate this universe that is too big to understand making these cataclysmic moves. The author is both articulate and funny, which makes some of the more complex stuff understandable. It is a fun book to read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Very well done. It covers a huge amount of material in an accessible way, and with humor. The author would likely be fun in a classroom. Recommended. Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Yzabel Ginsberg

  13. 4 out of 5

    Run For Book Cover

  14. 5 out of 5

    Omar

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Bruce Macdonald

  16. 4 out of 5

    Becky Diamond

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alexander

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kyle William Urban

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

  21. 4 out of 5

    Justyna

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anton

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Simser

  25. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alex Richey

  29. 4 out of 5

    Awesome Daruis

  30. 5 out of 5

    Savanny

  31. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Croce

  32. 4 out of 5

    Rob Brogan

  33. 5 out of 5

    Tansy

  34. 4 out of 5

    Amber

  35. 5 out of 5

    Adéryn

  36. 4 out of 5

    Vermicious

  37. 5 out of 5

    Pasuht

  38. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Wetterling

  39. 5 out of 5

    Magalie Dewaele

  40. 4 out of 5

    Thibaut Hoebeke

  41. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  42. 5 out of 5

    Kim Rottman

  43. 5 out of 5

    Craig Thompson

  44. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  45. 5 out of 5

    Tae

  46. 5 out of 5

    Insoo

  47. 4 out of 5

    J.A. Ironside

  48. 5 out of 5

    Arne

  49. 5 out of 5

    Jamy

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