240 pages, 38 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
66 million years ago, a ten-mile-wide object from outer space hurtled into the Earth at incredible speed and destroyed the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. Where did it come from, and why? And how is this connected to dark matter – the most mysterious, elusive stuff in the universe, that interacts with gravity like ordinary matter but doesn't emit or absorb light. Astronomers know it's there but it is literally invisible. Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs tells the story of Big Bang theory, cosmological inflation, the makeup of the universe and our solar system's place in it; it's about mass extinctions through the ages, what we know has hit the Earth and what might hit us in the future. And it explores the radical idea that dark matter might ultimately have been responsible for the dinosaurs' extinction. A horizon-expanding tour of the cosmos that blends what we know about the universe with new thinking, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs is a book full of wonders, from a gifted scientist and writer.
"A bold intellectual synthesis from one of the world's leading theoretical physicists, blending cosmology, astronomy, particle physics and the history of life on Earth to suggest the existence of an entirely new force of nature. This book certainly ventures into the unknown, but that's where great physicists like to be."
– Professor Brian Cox
"Only Lisa Randall can take us on such a thrilling scientific journey – from dinosaurs to DNA to comets to dark matter and to the past and future of our species. Randall's research is so thorough, the story so powerful, and her storytelling so compelling that I could not put this book down."
– Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies
"World-renowned physicist Lisa Randall brings a fresh twist to one of the world's oldest murder mysteries: the death of the dinosaurs. With lively writing and wonderfully accessible explanations, she now convincingly implicates a new suspect as ultimately responsible for the hit: a novel kind of dark matter."
– Max Tegmark, physicist and author of Our Mathematical Universe
"As strong in its poetic argument as it is in its speculative scientific argument, this book leads us pebble by pebble, step by step toward a sublime and unexpected vista. A book that should be required reading for those pursuing full citizenship in the universe."
– Walter Kirn, author of Blood Will Out and Up In The Air
"Lisa Randall has produced an intriguing, insightful book that brilliantly weaves together the disparate subjects of cosmology and biology [...] A simple, elegant theory that finally makes sense of mass extinctions. A must read for anyone interested in the precariousness of life on earth."
– Jack Horner, author of How To Build A Dinosaur
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Lisa Randall is an American theoretical physicist and the Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University. She has received numerous awards and honors and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics. She is the author of several acclaimed books on physics.