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Dark Cosmos: In Search of Our Universe's Missing Mass and Energy

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The twentieth century was astonishing in all regards, shaking the foundations of practically every aspect of human life and thought, physics not least of all. Beginning with the publication of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, through the wild revolution of quantum mechanics, and up until the physics of the modern day (including the astonishing revelation, in 1998, ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 21st 2006 by Smithsonian (first published 2006)
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Aug 15, 2010 rated it liked it
The stuff we are familiar with seems to make up a small proportion (about 4%) of the universe. Everything else seems to be dark matter, of which there is some hunches about what that might be, and dark energy, of which we know nothing. The existence of dark matter is inferred from the motions of distant galaxies, would would seem to require more matter, and thus gravitational energy, than can be accounted for from the visible (interacts with light), ordinary matter. Its existence has been ...more
Jan 07, 2008 rated it liked it
A very readable articulation of the discoveries leading up to our current understanding of dark energy and dark matter. Although still theoretical in nature, Hooper quickly gets the lay reader to the current state with clear and concise writing that lets the reader know what we know, how we learned about it, and what questions remain, without downplaying the possibility that maybe something we discover down the road makes us change our minds about everything. A good read if you're interested in ...more
Jul 16, 2009 rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in learning about dark matter, as well as dark energy. The majority of the book deals with dark matter, and only the last couple chapters touch on dark energy, which is even less well known than dark matter. Hooper covers the candidates for dark matter, both those that have been proven not to be dark matter, as well as those current candidates that have yet to be proven as dark matter particles or not.
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Modern physics changes rapidly and the hypotheses about dark matter and dark energy are a current rage, mostly to account for the experimental observation that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. Hooper gives a lucid description of the questions that gave rise to these notions, along with a description of general relativity and the standard model of particle physics that can be grasped by an interested layman. I was familiar with a lot of the material but his description of the ...more
Mar 22, 2017 added it
Shelves: popular-science, dnf
DNF 40% Not for me. Jumps around too much for the neophyte, but probably too simplistic for those already well exposed to the concepts.

(Though honestly, he half lost me at the Rutherford quote insulting every other science, not big on physicists who think they're theirs is the one true science.)
Ishmael Seaward
Dec 23, 2011 rated it liked it
So far (chapter 7 of 13), a clear discussion of quantum mechanics and general relativity, and how those two theories have changed the thinking of physicists. The problem is the incompatibility of the two, one being the theory of the very small, the other the theory of the very large. Hopefully, at some point, these can be reconciled. And for that, one must go back in time to the big bang. So that is where I am now, turning into a time traveler in order to understand dark matter and dark energy. ...more
Nathan Gelderbloom
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is not about a story of a hero's journey across a mythical land, but instead this book is about he fascinations of science, and the journey to find out what the universes dark matter is. This book Dark Cosmos And The Search For Our Universe's Missing Mass And Energy by Dan Hooper will be a fascinating read if you happen to like science and are interested in finding out more about the very universe you live in. This book digs into some subjects I myself found quite interested in, such ...more
Jason Furman
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good book for somebody, just not for me. It is well written and Hooper conveys enthusiasm. But I was hoping for an up-to-date book that focused exclusively on dark matter and dark energy. Instead most of this book is devoted to necessarily superficial pop science review of general relativity, quantum mechanics, supersymmetry, string theory, and cosmology. As a result there wasn't much that was new to me. Although I did learn one interesting new fact: Ladbrokes was taking bets on ...more
Tim Ieronimo
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
If you're at all interested in the development of new theories and old, this book gives a basic quick fact check of where we were and where we're headed in terms of understand the complexities of physics in our known universe. This is a great pre read to any other heavy physics books relating to particle physics the big bang theory etc. I thouroughly enjoyed this read. (I don't have a college education and am not very good at mathematics) the author has a great way of explaining complex ideas in ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm fascinated by physics and the search for the unknown, especially dark matter and dark energy. It's amazing that baryonic matter only makes up about 5% of the density of the universe. Hooper does a great job of explaining the mystery for a non physicist, putting it in terms of everyday experiences. He reviews the different theories, their strengths and weaknesses for explaining the phenomena, including quantum physics, super symmetry, string theory, and extra dimensions. His book greatly ...more
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
For some of the more recent discoveries in cosmology i.e. dark matter and dark energy, Dark Cosmos: In Search of Our Universe’s Missing Mass and Energy by particle physicist Dan Hooper is a watered down introduction to some of these concepts and their implications on our understanding of the universe. All the possible candidates for dark matter, including WIMPS and MACHOS, are discussed in a lively manner. It's not one of the best books out there on such topics though.
Jun 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, science, 2010
Interesting subject. Detailed explanations. A lot of jumping around back and forth. Very dry. Communicating in layman terms and keeping a reader engrossed was not this books strong suit. I had to read small chunks at a time interspersed with other books to keep going
Warren Wallace
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
A concise review of the current status of the search for dark matter. Basically it turns out we do not have a clue. The book is easy to read and concise and compelling. Ok for someone with limited knowledge of physics.
Karen Murk
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Although 2006 it is good for terminology and history of subject. Very readable.
Brendan  McAuliffe
Aug 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Very good overview ( doesn't mention ' branes ' or ' holographic ' at all however ) Understnad KK-states better now
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty decent review of the unexplained parts of our cosmos for a non-physicist.
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Daniel Wayne Hooper is an American cosmologist and particle physicist specializing in the areas of dark matter, cosmic rays, and neutrino astrophysics.

He is a Senior Scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and an Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.