The End of Everything: (Astrophysically Speaking)
by Katie Mack

Katie Mack is a physicist who studies the Cosmos, which roughly means she studies that which is mostly unknowable. Cosmologists have to depend on minute wobbles in orbits of stars billions of light years away, and changes that might happen several millennia from now to build their theories of how the universe was created, how it survives, and how it might end.

The book was praised in a few places, including the NY Times Book Review for the accessible language used to describe these very few knowable and very many unknowable things. However, the breezy presentations in the book left me without much understanding of what the heck she was talking about and why things are as they are or are thought to be.

At one point when she is describing the difference between theories that postulate that the world will end with a new beginning and theories that postulate an explosive and final end, she writes, “Personally, I find this whole thing makes much more sense if you employ the oldest tool in the physicists toolbox: hand-waving.”

That largely describes the book. I didn’t get much out of it except, I must say, a very cogent explanation of the Big Bang Theory of the start of the universe, and how our world unfolded in its first few microseconds.

If you haven’t guessed, I don’t recommend it.

 

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