Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Jul 10, 2007 - Science - 248 pages
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A Leading Figure in the Development of the New Cosmology Explains What It All Means

Among his peers, Alex Vilenkin is regarded as one of the most imaginative and creative cosmologists of our time. His contributions to our current understanding of the universe include a number of novel ideas, two of which—eternal cosmic inflation and the quantum creation of the universe from nothing—have provided a scientific foundation for the possible existence of multiple universes.

With this book—his first for the general reader—Vilenkin joins another select group: the handful of first-rank scientists who are equally adept at explaining their work to nonspecialists. With engaging, well-paced storytelling, a droll sense of humor, and a generous sprinkling of helpful cartoons, he conjures up a bizarre and fascinating new worldview that—to paraphrase Niels Bohr—just might be crazy enough to be true.

 

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Contents

Prologue
3
Parti GENESIS 1 What Banged How It Banged and What Caused
9
The Rise and Fall of Repulsive Gravity
13
Creation and Its Discontents
21
The Modern Story of Genesis
29
The Inflationary Universe
45
Too Good to Be Wrong
54
Partll ETERNAL INFLATION
71
The Sky Has Spoken
87
Infinite Islands
93
The King Lives
102
PRINCIPLE OF MEDIOCRITY
119
17 Creation of Universes from Nothing
178
The End of the World
194
Epilogue
207
Acknowledgments
223

The Antigravity Stone
73
Runaway Inflation
77

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About the author (2007)

Alex Vilenkin is a professor of physics at Tufts University, where he also serves as director of the Tufts Institute of Cosmology. The author of more than 150 research papers in cosmology, he has introduced a number of novel ideas to the field.

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