An award-winning science writer takes us into the lab to answer some of life's biggest questions: How was the universe created? And could we create our own?
What if you could become God, with the ability to build a whole new universe? As startling as it sounds, modern physics suggests that within the next two decades, scientists may be able to perform this seemingly divine feat-to concoct an entirely new baby universe, complete with its own physical laws, star systems, galaxies, and even intelligent life. A Big Bang in a Little Room takes the reader on a journey through the history of cosmology and unravels-particle by particle, theory by theory, and experiment by experiment-the ideas behind this provocative claim made by some of the most respected physicists alive today. Beyond simply explaining the science, A Big Bang in a Little Room also tells the story of the people who have been laboring for more than thirty years to make this seemingly impossible dream a reality. What has driven them to continue on what would seem, at first glance, to be a quixotic quest?
This mind-boggling book reveals that we can nurse other worlds in the tiny confines of a lab, raising a daunting prospect: Was our universe, too, brought into existence by a daring creator?
In this intensely theoretical yet accessibly humanist work, science journalist Merali skillfully appraises the fascinating possibility of creating a universe in a lab. Her interviews with physicists suggest that such a thing might actually be possible, though not with current technology. Merali explains many theories about how universes might occur or be created inside our own, including false vacuums, elusive monopoles, and black holes. Amid clear explanations of mind-blowing physics concepts, Merali takes the time to humanize everyone she interviews. In particular, her discussions of religion and how scientists have managed their faith and their work are refreshingly matter-of-fact. Merali supplements the technical aspects of making a universe with the implications for how we view ourselves and our world, providing welcome context to the theories and questions she explores. Does time exist without an observer inside our universe? Is a multiverse compatible with free will? What are the ethics of potentially creating sentient life? Merali attempts to answer these and many other questions, revealing a sense of wonder and curiosity that make the book as deep and heartfelt as it is meticulous and scientific.