Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe

Book - 2015
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Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs. Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings--established and speculative--regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos' history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.
Publisher: New York : Ecco, 2015
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780062328472
Characteristics: xv, 412 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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Apr 28, 2018

Almost all (at least 90%) of the book is about the current state of knowledge on various related topics: the case for the existance of stuff in the universe called dark matter, the expansion of the universe after the Big Bang resulting in background radiation, creation and distribution of galaxies, the various elements that comprize our solar system, impacts on planetary bodies including the earth, extinctions of species on earth, and cursory discussions about aspects of partical physics related to visible and dark matter. With very few exceptions the discussions are entirely qualitative. The narative meanders on and off topic with some persumably humorous but annoying digressions such as working hard to get a reference to the author's photo as an extra on the Big Bang Theory show. There are at least two glaring physics errors in the narrative description that fortunately do not negate from the basic results. Finally in the last few pages, the author speculates about the comet origins of the Chicxulub Crater based on some model which is unexplained but perports to be consistent with the record though this is entirely without reporting data to bolster the claims. Ultimately disappointing.

Dec 07, 2016

While my personal favorite quantum equation is ER = EPR, I'm afraid I am highly skeptical of this author's assertions - - am in full agreement with the previous commenter, SPSit.
Dark matter is the term which accounts for our present day ignorance on celestial behavior, just as dark energy is the term to account for our present day ignorance on the apparent speeding up of the expansion of the Universe - - in both cases, there is no concrete evidence, just observational suggestions. Cannot label this hard science.

Jul 07, 2016

This is an interesting book. The writing is somewhat uneven as the same analogy was repeated, sometimes on the same page, which is probably the fault of the editor. I am not a physicist. I have no problem with physicists making assumptions and then using them to make models. What troubles me is that we know almost nothing of dark matter. And yet Dr. Randall or her team is trying to link dark matter to the disruption of the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago - that is too, too far fetched in my view.


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