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GENERAL LEVEL



The Elegant Universe.
Briane Greene
Superstring theory has been called "a part of 21stcentury physics
that fell by chance into the 20th century." In other words, it isn't
all worked out yet. Despite the uncertainties – "string theorists
work to find approximate solutions to approximate equations" –
Greene gives a tour of string theory solid enough to satisfy the scientifically
literate. Though Ed Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study is
in many ways the human hero of The Elegant Universe, it is not a humansideofphysics
story. Greene's focus throughout is the science, and he gives the
nonspecialist at least an illusion of understanding – or the
sense of knowing what it is that you don't know. And that is traditionally
the first step on the road to knowledge. Mary Ellen Curtin, Amazon.com


Parallel Worlds: A Journey
Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos.
Michio Kaku
Wellknown physicist and author Kaku tells readers in this latest
exploration of the far reaches of scientific speculation that another
universe may be floating just a millimeter away on a "brane" (membrane)
parallel to our own. We can't pop our heads in and have a look around
because it exists in hyperspace, beyond our four dimensions. However,
Kaku writes, scientists conjecture that branes – a creation
of M theory, marketed as possibly the longsought "theory of everything"
– may eventually collide, annihilating each other. Such a collision
may even have caused what we call the big bang. Publishers Weekly


Big Bang : The Origin of the
Universe. Simon Singh
A baffling array of science books claim to reveal how the mysteries
of the universe have been discovered, but Simon Singh's Big Bang actually
delivers on that promise. General readers will find it to be among
the very best books dealing with cosmology, because Singh follows
the same plan he used in his brilliant Code Book: he puts people –
not equations – first in the story. Amazon.com 

The Cosmic Landscape: String
Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design. Leonard Susskind
Physicist Susskind is a founder of string theory, and his first popular
work will be of utmost significance to science readers. They will
be challenged throughout by Susskind's ideas, of which strings are
but a part; his driving curiosity is to discover why the laws of physics
are what they are and so finely poised to permit life. Susskind discusses
how slight alterations of physical values would destroy atoms and,
hence, life. Deeming unscientific any proposition of a supernatural
agency in setting the physical dials so exactly, Susskind advances
a radical concept he calls the "landscape." Booklist 

Just Six Numbers: The Deep
Forces That Shape the Universe. Martin Rees
Science writer and astronomer Rees summarizes the history of the universe,
pointing out that six numbers related to basic physical constants
(for example, the relative strengths of the gravitational and electromagnetic
attraction) determine how the universe developed. In addition, he
shows how, if these numbers were only slightly different, stars and
galaxies would not form, complex chemistry would not be possible,
and life could not evolve. Library Journal 

The Book of Nothing : Vacuums,
Voids, and the Latest Ideas about the Origins of the Universe.
John Barrow
Nothing's conceptual origins were fraught with fear and disbelief,
and only three civilizations independently discovered it. How Nothing
went from a Babylonian place holder, a Mayan decoration in the empty
space where no number fell and an Indian dot signifying all the current
aspects of zero, to one of the most essential elements in mathematics,
physics and cosmology, is the subject of this enlightening history.
Barrow, a Cambridge professor of mathematical sciences, follows Nothing's
evolution in a clear, wellorganized narrative. Publishers Weekly


Before the Beginning: Our
Universe and Others. Martin Rees
Sophisticated instruments and spacecraft expeditions probing deeper
into space have all increased our knowlege of the universe and its
place in the grand scheme of things. From the theoretical insights
to experimental confirmations, this book describes the universe and
our quest to understand it. Rees, the wellknown cosmologist and director
of Cambridge University's Institute of Astronomy, outlines the historic
context and explains discoveries and ideas with clarity and in an
engaging style. Library Journal 

The Universe in a Nutshell.
Stephen Hawking
Adult/high schoolwriting in a lighthearted, personal, often humorous
style and with colorful and entertaining graphics on every page, Hawking
succeeds in communicating his love and enthusiasm for science. Without
seeming to condescend, he makes a valiant attempt to clarify many
fascinating and elusive topics such as relativity and time; multiple
universes and dimensions; black holes and dark matter; prediction
of the future; and the possibility of time travel. School Library
Journal 
ADVANCED



Cosmology. Steven Weinberg
"A monumental book written by a leading authority in particle
physics and cosmology. Since publication of Weinberg's famous book
Gravitation and Cosmology 35 years ago, there has been a real revolution
both in cosmological theory and observations. A major effort of a
great expert has been required to summarize the main developments
in one book, and to make this presentation both highly accurate and
accessible. This book will be greatly appreciated by a broad readership,
ranging from students who just enter the field to experts in modern
cosmology. It should be on the desk of every actively working cosmologist."
Andrei Linde, Stanford University 

Modern Cosmology. Scott
Dodelson (Academic Press, 2003) "...I like
the choice of topics and detailed derivations of some of the basic
processes which cannot be found in any other textbook and which really
make this book a textbook out of which one can actually learn something.
Examples include detailed derivation of inflationary spectrum, Boltzmann
equation etc. ... I also like the extensive list of problems at the
end of each chapter. This is a great textbook that is long overdue
given the importance of the subject..." Uros Seljak, Princeton University 
