Beyond the Big Bang -- Rewriting Cosmic History
Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780767915014, 304pp.
Publication Date: June 3, 2008
Two world-renowned scientists present an audacious new vision of the cosmos that “steals the thunder from the Big Bang theory.” —Wall Street Journal
The Big Bang theory—widely regarded as the leading explanation for the origin of the universe—posits that space and time sprang into being about 14 billion years ago in a hot, expanding fireball of nearly infinite density. Over the last three decades the theory has been repeatedly revised to address such issues as how galaxies and stars first formed and why the expansion of the universe is speeding up today. Furthermore, an explanation has yet to be found for what caused the Big Bang in the first place.
In Endless Universe, Paul J. Steinhardt and Neil Turok, both distinguished theoretical physicists, present a bold new cosmology. Steinhardt and Turok “contend that what we think of as the moment of creation was simply part of an infinite cycle of titanic collisions between our universe and a parallel world” (Discover). They recount the remarkable developments in astronomy, particle physics, and superstring theory that form the basis for their groundbreaking “Cyclic Universe” theory. According to this theory, the Big Bang was not the beginning of time but the bridge to a past filled with endlessly repeating cycles of evolution, each accompanied by the creation of new matter and the formation of new galaxies, stars, and planets.
Endless Universe provides answers to longstanding problems with the Big Bang model, while offering a provocative new view of both the past and the future of the cosmos. It is a “theory that could solve the cosmic mystery” (USA Today).
PAUL J. STEINHARDT is the Albert Einstein Professor in science and on the faculty of the departments of physics and astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. NEIL TUROK holds the Chair of Mathematical Physics in the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at Cambridge University.
“Two brilliant theorists offer a true-to-life account of their quest to solve one of the deepest mysteries of the cosmos.”
—Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and President of the Royal Society, author of Before the Beginning
“Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok, two architects of modern cosmology, have written an accessible and engaging account of their exciting new theory of cosmic origins. Should their approach someday be confirmed, it would result in a major upheaval to our understanding of how everything—space, time, and matter—came to be.” —Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos
"For the past twenty years, the combination of the big bang theory plus inflation has offered cosmologists an unbeatable one-two knockout punch . . . But the standard model finally has a worthy challenger."
—Robert Naeye, Mercury
“Perhaps you don’t believe in strings, or extra spatial dimensions, or D-branes, or that the universe’s accelerated expansion may someday reverse. But I urge you to suspend such views and read Steinhardt and Turok’s dramatic and very readable account of their cyclic model of the universe. It may well be closer to truth than you think!”
—Sir Roger Penrose, Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematical Physics at Oxford University, author of The Emperor’s New Mind and The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe