The Fifth Essence: The Search for Dark Matter in the Universe
- Lawrence Krauss (author), Chris Millett (covers) and Simon Larbalestier (covers)
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This book is in large part about particle physics, with the main theme being an exploration of dark matter and its implications. There are very few equations, and those are fairly simple to follow. However, there's a lot of physics jargon, making it a little hard to follow at times for the non-physicist.
As a layman I found this book very interesting, although I feel someone with a deeper knowledge of physics (in particular particle physics) would enjoy it even more. Nonetheless, Krauss makes a valiant effort at explaining a very difficult subject. I especially enjoyed the long section about how we've modeled (and simulated) the formation of large-scale structure. It's really amazing how well gravity can explain large structures. If you're at all interested in dark matter, I heartily recommend this book, even though it's a little dated by now (for instance, it talks about the Superconducting Super Collider).
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- Table of Contents:
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- Preface: A New Copernican Revolution?
The Stuff of Matter
- Chapter 1: Making Something Out of Nothing
- Chapter 2: Filling the Void
Weighing the Universe... and Coming up Short
- Chapter 3: First Light on the Darkness
- Chapter 4: Beyond Our Island in the Night
Why the Universe is Flat: The Big Bang, Large-Scale Structure, and the Need for Something New
- Chapter 5: Cooking with Gas
- Chapter 6: The Tip of the Iceberg
The Neutrino Saga and the Birth of Cold Dark Matter
- Chapter 7: The Obvious Choice?
- Chapter 8: Cold Gets Hot
- Chapter 9: All Roads Lead to Dark Matter
- Chapter 10: Three Modest Proposals
Desperately Seeking Dark Matter
- Chapter 11: The Music of the Spheres?
- Chapter 12: Of Thermometers and Radios
- Epilogue: The Best of Times?
- Appendix A: Orders of Magnitude and Scale of the Universe
- Appendix B: A Really Brief History of Time