Over the past few decades, a handful of scientists have been racing to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only four percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, our books, and every star and planet. The rest is completely unknown.
Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of the quest to find this “dark” matter and an even more bizarre substance called “dark energy.” This is perhaps the greatest mystery in all of science, and solving it will bring fame, funding, and certainly a Nobel Prize. Based on in-depth reporting and interviews with the major players—from Berkeley’s feisty, excitable Saul Perlmutter and Harvard’s witty but exacting Robert Kirshner to the doyenne of astronomy, Vera Rubin—the book offers an intimate portrait of the bitter rivalries and fruitful collaborations, the eureka moments and blind alleys, that have fueled their search, redefined science, and reinvented the universe.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. Our view of the cosmos is profoundly wrong, and Copernicus was only the beginning: not just Earth, but all common matter is a marginal part of existence. Panek’s fast-paced narrative, filled with original reporting and behind-the-scenes details, brings this epic story to life for the very first time.
Way too much bickering... Still some interesting science
I bought this as a promising popular science look into dark matter as I didn't know much about it... It was interesting and nicely challenging - at times - for me as a layman. But there was entirely too much drama and "he said she said" for my taste. Maybe the arguments over who-published-what-first are interesting to people in the field, but the focus on this got so mind-numbing in the last couple chapters that I just turned this off and listened to my satellite radio instead.