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8+ Works 2,654 Membros 67 Críticas 4 Favorited

About the Author

Lisa Randall studies theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University, where she is Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is the recipient of mostrar mais many awards and honorary degrees and was named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" in 2007. Warped Passages (2005) and Knocking on Heaven's Door (2011) were New York Times bestsellers and 100 Notable Books. Her standalone e-book, Higgs Discovery: The Power of Empty Space, was published in 2012. mostrar menos
Image credit: Photograph by leslieimage.com who took it at TED 2006

Obras por Lisa Randall

Associated Works

A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader (2018) — Contribuidor — 231 exemplares
The New Humanists: Science at the Edge (2003) — Contribuidor — 230 exemplares
Know the Past, Find the Future: The New York Public Library at 100 (2011) — Contribuidor — 116 exemplares
The Earth and I (2016) — Contribuidor — 23 exemplares

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Conhecimento Comum

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This book is a lot. It starts with cosmology and the Big Bang, goes into particle physics to explain what dark matter is, touches on theories of the origin of life, finally gets to the fossil record and what that tells us about mass extinction events, goes into some concepts of probability theory and statistical significance, then describes large scale features of the Milky Way and our solar system’s traversal through it.

All of this is used to illustrate her idea (which she is very careful to describe as speculative and a “thought experiment”) that there is a disc of dark matter, much thinner than the distribution of normal matter, through the central plane of the galaxy, and that the spike in gravity caused by this disc is responsible for knocking objects out of the orbit of the Oort cloud at the edge of the solar system every 30-35 million years and sending big spikes in the number colliding with Earth, causing mass extinction events including the death of the dinosaurs.


Randall is very clear, though out the work, that some ideas are not established yet and should not be taken as factual, but she does heavily reference other academic work on the variety of fields involved. As a nonexpert I am unable to verify all of the background material, but provided there are no glaring omissions or misrepresentations I believe she makes a compelling case for her theory.

Overall this book is densely packed with a lot of science and will take some thought to follow, but the frame of her “dark matter killed the dinosaurs” hypothesis allows the book to flow reasonably well.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
jdm9970 | 20 outras críticas | Jan 26, 2023 |
«Los científicos han descubierto una nueva partícula, una partícula que nos habla del poder del espacio vacío. Fue predicha hace casi cincuenta años sobre la base de consideraciones teóricas y la necesidad de hacer consistente el Modelo Estándar. Fue verificada mediante técnicas ingenieriles y experimentales sumamente complejas. El descubrimiento de la partícula es tremendamente apasionante».
 
Assinalado
bibliotecayamaguchi | 6 outras críticas | Dec 16, 2022 |
As the subtitle indicates, this book covers some fairly broad scientific topics, including some discussion about the history of science and the importance of scientific thinking. A lot of it, however, is more specifically about particle physics and the Large Hadron Collider. It was written in 2011, though, so the discussions here about attempts to find the Higgs Boson (which did happen pretty much as predicted) and the possibility that LHC data could overturn or amend the currently reigning Standard Model of particle physics (which so far hasn't happened) are inevitably somewhat dated now.

Honestly, this book feels kind of all over the place. Sometimes it outlines things on what's intended to be a layman's level, although I think having a little bit of physics knowledge going in does help. In other places, it gets very technical, and, in my experience, going in with a little bit of physics knowledge helps very little in understanding concepts like the Higgs field. At least, it's certainly never helped me. I think no matter how clearly anyone tries to explain some of these things, it's just really not possible to entirely understand it without knowing the right kind of mathematics. I can't say that this is the best stab I've seen anyone take at it, either, or that Randall's prose is especially lucid. She's not bad or anything, but definitely not someone I'm going to hold up as a paragon of good, clear science writing.

She does have a few insightful things to say, and anyone who's especially interested in the specifics of how the LHC works is likely to find her detailed descriptions of its technology and operation useful. But, overall, this volume is kind of dense and unfocused and often not particularly good at getting the author's points across. I feel like there are much better books on these topics out there.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
bragan | 10 outras críticas | May 8, 2022 |
I put this book on the bedtime story shelf and my fourteen-year-old picked it up, which means that I read this whole thing out loud to my family. There were times when I thought that this book's structure wasn't very friendly to a read aloud format, as there was a LOT of repetition and circling back on theories which sometimes made me impatient to read so slowly. But really, it probably helped the kids, especially as we read it one chapter at a time, so it helped with the "where we left off..." reminders.

Okay, so there is a really interesting premise at the heart of this book, and that is: is there a cyclical nature to mass extinctions in the fossil record supporting evidence for cyclical catastrophic meteor strikes? And if so, could that cycle be linked to a structural issue in our solar system — and if so, could that structural issue be related to dark matter? Clearly, there are a LOT of interconnected features to unpack here, which means that even if at the end, you are unpersuaded by the thesis that dark matter killed the dinosaurs (which is not actually a foregone conclusion of this book), you still have learned about the fossil record, mass extinctions, meteor strikes, the structure of the solar system, dark matter, and predictive modeling. In a way, that is more FUN — a depiction of the way that science searches for connections and patterns, and that you don't have to prove your hypothesis correct in order to learn an impressive amount about the universe.

A very worthwhile adventure.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
greeniezona | 20 outras críticas | Sep 20, 2021 |

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Obras
8
Also by
4
Membros
2,654
Popularidade
#9,671
Avaliação
½ 3.7
Críticas
67
ISBN
64
Línguas
10
Marcado como favorito
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