A book about universes - expanding, contracting, oscillating, time-travelling - from the bestselling author of 100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know.
This is a book about universes. It tells a story that revolves around a single unusual and unappreciated fact: that Albert Einstein's famous theory of relativity describes universes - entire universes. Not many solutions to Einstein's tantalising universe equations have ever been found, but those that have are all very remarkable. Some describe universes that expand in size, while others contract; some rotate like a top while others are chaotically unpredictable. Some are perfectly smooth, while others are lumpy. Some permit time travel into the past. Only a few allow life to evolve within them; the rest, if they exist, are destined to remain unknowable to conscious minds.
Our story will encounter universes where the laws of physics can change from time to time and from one region to another, universes that have extra hidden dimensions of space and time, universes that are eternal, universes that live inside black holes, universes that end without warning, colliding universes, inflationary universes, and universes that come into being from something else - or from nothing at all.
Gradually, we are introduced to the latest and the best descriptions of the Universe as we understand it today, together with the concept of the 'Multiverse' - the universe of all possible universes - that modern theories of physics lead us to contemplate. Here in The Book of Universes we are confronted with the most fantastic and far-reaching speculations in the whole of science.
“As a daring attempt to resolve thatstrain, Barrow's revision of Einstein's cosmology will be attracting onsiderable attention in the coming years. And this mind-expanding book prepares general readers to share in the intellectual ferment”
“great clarity, a lovely lightness of touch and enormous erudition”