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Monday, December 21, 2020

Review: The End of Everything

 I picked up The End of Everything because it was on the Smithsonian list of top science books of the year. About 20 pages in I realized it wasn't about natural disasters, but the extrapolation of current known physics into the far future. A lot of what's in this book was covered already by Sean Caroll's lecture series on Time, but Katie Mack is such a great writer with transparent prose and a frequent wry turn of phrase that I kept on reading anyway.

It turns out that it was worth reading, because once she got past the "Big Crunch", the Big Rip"Heat Death", she got to Vacuum Decay, which became much more real than in the past because of the discovery of the Higgs Boson. I'd never seen that covered anywhere before, so the explanation was great and novel (to me).

The rest  of the book goes on to cover string theory, branes, and possible expanding and collapsing universes. The whole thing was so well written you could breeze through it in a couple of days. A good break from the heavy socio-political stuff that I'm reading otherwise. Recommended.

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