The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) by Katie Mack
Categories: Non-Fiction, Science
First Publication Date: 2nd July 2020
I received an advance copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: You’re going to die. The Earth will, one day, be toast. So too, our Sun will eventually shine its last. But what’s next?
The End of Everything is a unique exploration of the destruction of the cosmos. Drawing on cutting edge technology and theory, as well as hot-off-the-presses results from the most powerful telescopes and particle colliders, astrophysicist Katie Mack describes how small tweaks to our incomplete understanding of reality can result in starkly different futures. Our universe could collapse in upon itself, or rip itself apart, or even – in the next five minutes – succumb to an inescapable expanding bubble of doom.
This fascinating, witty story of cosmic escapism examines a beautiful but unfamiliar physics landscape while sharing the excitement a leading astrophysicist feels when thinking about the universe and our place in it. Amid stellar explosions and bouncing universes, Mack shows that even though we puny humans have no chance of changing how it all ends, we can at least begin to understand it.
I had such an amazing time reading this book! I first fell in love with Physics during our first class on Newton’s Theory of Gravitation: so lovely that the world could be described by formulas, move and behave in such describable ways, and look so beautifully mathematical, mysterious and intriguing, that the darkness and the starts could have such fascinating patterns. This was a long time ago, and it’s not been often that I felt the same fascination and desire to understand more – but this book brought back that experience of all the things we know and don’t know about the Universe and its behavior.
Katie Mack does an excellent job of talking about theories that delve into quantum mechanics, particle physics, multiverses and so on in such a readable way (and funny, too). I had to re-read a lot of parts because I wanted to absorb as much as possible from this book and its interesting theories on how the universe started and what that means as to how it’s going to end. While I wish there had been more photographs, data and graphs, that was not what Dr. Mack was trying to do with this book, so it’s a minor and personal complaint but in no way a detriment to the book itself. I think she did a great job in keeping interesting discussions that are so abstract, and the kind of details I wanted to see would have made the book more technical and less readable to the general public.
I highly recommend this book if you’ve ever been interested in knowing what the Big Bang really is, what other theories are out there about how the Universe started and how it may end, and the interesting debates occurring with every new discovery.