Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe

eBook - 2015
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In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist and New York Times bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven's Door uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth.Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs.
Publisher: 2015
ISBN: 9780062328519
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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pandafe476
May 05, 2019

I have not read the book yet -- it's on my for later list. I am curious about how the author explains the connection between the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs and dark matter in the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy. Is there any scientific evidence of that or is it sheer speculation? I guess the latter is what some of the comments point to. I am an aficionado when it comes to Quantum Physics and Quantum Mechanics, and the fact that we know nothing about Dark Matter and Dark Energy blows my mind. I think the existence of these two phenomena in the Universe has been accepted by the majority of Theoretical Physicists, no? Of course, when you know nothing about anything, the first step is to open the door to speculative fiction but that in and of itself is a harmless activity of humans. It Randall's book worth reading, though?

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Bududo
Apr 28, 2018

Almost all (at least 90%) of the book is about the current state of knowledge on various related topics: the case for the existance of stuff in the universe called dark matter, the expansion of the universe after the Big Bang resulting in background radiation, creation and distribution of galaxies, the various elements that comprize our solar system, impacts on planetary bodies including the earth, extinctions of species on earth, and cursory discussions about aspects of partical physics related to visible and dark matter. With very few exceptions the discussions are entirely qualitative. The narative meanders on and off topic with some persumably humorous but annoying digressions such as working hard to get a reference to the author's photo as an extra on the Big Bang Theory show. There are at least two glaring physics errors in the narrative description that fortunately do not negate from the basic results. Finally in the last few pages, the author speculates about the comet origins of the Chicxulub Crater based on some model which is unexplained but perports to be consistent with the record though this is entirely without reporting data to bolster the claims. Ultimately disappointing.

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StarGladiator
Dec 07, 2016

While my personal favorite quantum equation is ER = EPR, I'm afraid I am highly skeptical of this author's assertions - - am in full agreement with the previous commenter, SPSit.
Dark matter is the term which accounts for our present day ignorance on celestial behavior, just as dark energy is the term to account for our present day ignorance on the apparent speeding up of the expansion of the Universe - - in both cases, there is no concrete evidence, just observational suggestions. Cannot label this hard science.

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SPSit
Jul 07, 2016

This is an interesting book. The writing is somewhat uneven as the same analogy was repeated, sometimes on the same page, which is probably the fault of the editor. I am not a physicist. I have no problem with physicists making assumptions and then using them to make models. What troubles me is that we know almost nothing of dark matter. And yet Dr. Randall or her team is trying to link dark matter to the disruption of the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago - that is too, too far fetched in my view.

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