The Five Ages of the Universe: Inside the Physics of Eternity
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The Five Ages of the Universe: Inside the Physics of Eternity

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  102 ratings  ·  15 reviews
As the twentieth century closed, Fred Adams and Greg Laughlin captured the attention of the world by identifying the five ages of time. In The Five Ages of the Universe, Adams and Laughlin demonstrate that we can now understand the complete life story of the cosmos from beginning to end.
Adams and Laughlin have been hailed as the creators of the definitive long-term proje...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 19th 2000 by Free Press (first published 1999)
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Bob Nichols
The authors take the reader through a journey that begins with the explosive (an under, understatement) Big Bang era, through progressive cooling eras that allow masses (space debris, stars,galaxies, galaxy clusters) first to form and then proceed to their eventual decay (degeneration), and then their collapse into black holes that culminate in the fifth age, the dark era (no thermodynamic energy and cosmic heat death). The scales of time and space are astounding of course (e.g., our Milky Way h...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Oct 29, 2009 Joshua Nomen-Mutatio rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Who Like To Think About The Vastest Vastness
Shelves: astronomy, physics
I was just listening a great lecture on these subjects yesterday given by the physicist Lawrence Krauss and it reminded me of this book. I think I'll give it a reread sometime soon. I'm pretty sure I still have it with some grouping of my slightly unconsolidated book collection hidden away somewhere...

I read this a while back, before I had the more serious general interest in science that I now have, but even then I found this book extremely fascinating, thought-provoking and at moments terrify...more
Michael
I am not sure quite what I was expecting of this book, but it sadly failed to deliver on whatever that expectation was. The sweeping discussion of cosmology - past, present, and distant (really distant) future - certainly sums up everything you ever wanted to know about the creation and destruction of the universe, but it never seemed to find its audience. Parts of it are aimed at readers mostly uninformed about astrophysics and quantum mechanics, while others delve into mathematical discussions...more
Sheri Fresonke Harper
The five ages of the universe lays out the different stages of development of the universe from the initial big bang, through the turning on of light, into the age of stars, and then what the authors propose will occur during the decline of the universe.
Stuart Brenton
A bit dated in terms of available cosmological evidence, but very interesting - an updated version would be very welcome as an introduction to the physics underpinning modern cosmology.
Stephen
This book covers the physics of the development of the universe from the big bang to its long, drawn out demise in the unimaginably distant future.

Its science is good and interesting and, after first reading, it could well be used as a reference book. Its drawback is the flights of fancy dotted through it speculating on the possibility of life (as we don’t know it) in the distant future, seemingly added to pad out the book and to widen its audience.

A better book (from the perspective of a good r...more
Samuel Viana
Great book.... truly I don't know if it's more of science fiction or serious science. But therotical physics had always been like this, a speculative science field, so would say that what comes in this book is tremendously speculative? What matters to me, if after 10^100 bilion years or 10^100^100 bilion years (or cosmological decades, the time unity used in this book) it will be some lifeform or some hope of a new beginning... for the place where we all live. God can itself Be a scientist, afte...more
Alan
I read this book for a philosophy discussion and was unfortunately quite rushed. The book really explores in fascinating depth the death of the universe. What will it be like in the far distant future, long after all the stars are gone, the black holes have evaporated, and even protons have decayed? Well other than really cold and dark? Can life of any sort be created from black holes? How about life from just electrons and positrons? Most of the ideas in the books seemed plausible. I found some...more
Erin
A bit heavy in parts (no surprise) but as a bit of an astronomy/cosmology nerd, I loved this book. It's full of mind blowing and easily graspable facts such as, if the entire mass of the earth were directly translated into a black hole, the black hole would be the size of a marble! How cool is that?!
Brian Mathieu
Dec 03, 2011 Brian Mathieu rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes physics/cosmology.
Shelves: cosmology, physics
One of the best cosmology books I've ever read. Most non-fiction and documentaries take you from the Big Bang up to the present. This book does that, and then takes you out to the end of the universe. The really weird and interesting stuff happens after our current era.
Daniel Duval
One day the physical universe will die in a dark cold empty nearly inconceivable expanse. Pretty frightening and depressing. Or they could be wrong but none the less it's trillions and trillions of years from now so there's still plenty of time to party.
Jeff
Oct 03, 2007 Jeff rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: astronomy, cosmology
Shelves: science, astronomy
Very accessible and well-written introduction/overview of modern cosmology, with a distinct focus on how the universe developed from the distant past to the end of time. Definitely a book that stimulates "big picture" thinking.
Forn
This book gives a broad overview of different theories of the future of our universe. It contains a very good reference and further reading chapter.
Lizzy
Great! I could't put this down.
Sharon
Nov 03, 2009 Sharon is currently reading it
Very good so far. Interesting theories...
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