Nine Strange Ways the World Could End
|Author(s)||David Darling & Dirk Schulze-Makuch|
|Description||Which will get us first? The super-volcano in Yellowstone National Park? An asteroid hurtling through outer space? Black holes from CERN gobbling up the solar system? An army of deranged nanobots? Or - who knows - alien invasion?
Armed with lavish illustrations and their one-of-a-kind "Catastrophometer", Dr David Darling and Dr Dirk Schulze-Makuch introduce all those disasters you never saw coming, unpicking the hardcore science that makes them genuine possibilities, and providing everything from survival tips to danger ratings. So sit back, face the inevitable, and discover the delights of the nine oddest ways the world could end.
|Book Dimensions||Width: 5.31″ (5 5/16″)|
|Height: 8.5″ (8 ½″)|
|Depth: 0.75″ (¾″)|
|Contents||Illustrations, Acknowledgements, Introduction, Meet the Catastrophometer, nine (9) chapters, Conclusions, Notes, Further reading, Index|
|Typeset||Jayvee, Trivandrum, India|
|Cover Design||Richard Green|
|Published||April 16, 2012|
|Publisher||Oneworld Publications (www.oneworld-publications.com)|
|Copyright||© David Darling and Dirk Schulze-Makuch 2012|
|Printed / Bound in||Denmark by Nørhaven|
|Book Format||Paperback, Kindle|
|Quoted Reviews||"Splendid! Stimulating, entertaining, and scientifically plausible." — Adam Hart-Davis - Bestselling Author and BBC Presenter
"A surprisingly cheerful look at the science of how humanity might meet a messy end, from incurable diseases to exploding stars. Who says reading about the end of the world needs to be grim?" — Chad Orzel - Author of the bestselling How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog
"Fascinating, if somewhat macabre... A fabulous book that got better with every page - I couldn't put it down!" — Debra Fischer - Professor of Astronomy, Yale University
"Understandable, interesting, and entertaining: the perfect excuse to learn science from the atomic to the galactic and from the terrestrial to the extra-terrestrial. Well-written and accessible to any audience...A book specially recommended for those who think that the end of humankind cannot cheer you up." — Alfonso Davila - SETI Institute
"Who needs vampires and zombies for excitement when we live in a world beset by so many real threats to life, limb, and happiness? Delightful ... an authoritative but good-humored look at an array of natural and technological disasters." — Albert A. Harrison - Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of California, Davis, and author of Starstruck: Cosmic Visions in Science, Religion and Folklore
"Nicely written, thoroughly researched, and highly recommended. Doomsday is already marked in the calender." — Alberto Fairen - NASA Ames Research Center
|Best Seller's List||--|
|Other||Dr David Darling is an astronomer, freelance science writer, and creator of one of the most popular online encyclopedias of space and astrobiology. He is the author of the bestselling Equations of Eternity.
Dr Dirk Schulze-Makuch is Professor in Astrobiology at Washington State University. His research has been widely published in media ranging from academic journals to The New Scientist.
Together they are authors of the critically-acclaimed We Are Not Alone.
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"If the theory of inflation is right, argued Guth and his MIT colleague Edward Farhi in 1987, then there's a change it could be used to create new universes in the laboratory. The process would involve concentrating enough energy at a single point. This would cause a bubble of space-time to appear, which if large enough, would undergo inflation and become a universe in its own right. Our universe wouldn't be in danger. Instead the child universe would slip through a space-time passageway known as a wormhole and rapidly disconnect completely. Then the child universe would grown on its own, with its own laws of physics, and evolve in ways that we might not even be able to imagine.Religious authorities and practitioners would urinate their pants if they read this possibility, knowing they're praying to some nerd who made this Universe in qualifications for a Masters/Doctorate. And what more, that we're just a bunch of doddering organisms who are very much stuck on one planet, unable to browse other places in space like an avid traveller/shopper in no time flat, and confiding in with Darwin's theory of natural selection. Very interesting.
And what if this has already happened? Perhaps our universe is the product of alien scientists tinkering in laboratories in some other space and time. That's a disturbing enough idea in itself, especially if you like your gods to be of the less material variety. Worse still is the thought that these alien creators of ours might still be taking an active part in their experiment, and might decide to tinker with it in ways that would erase us from the scheme of things. There aren't any good megacatastophes, but being wiped out from a universe that had no meaning in the first place, except as perhaps the subject of some higher being's PhD thesis, would surely be the ultimate tragic ending." (Darling & Schulze-Makuch, ed 2012, p.185)
|Rating||Probability (of megacatastrophe)||Loss of human life|
|1||low||10 million or more|
|2||low||1 billion or more|
|4||moderate||10 million or more|
|5||moderate||1 billion or more|
|7||high||10 million or more|
|8||high||1 billion or more|