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Science Books

June 16, 2005

Alpha & Omega: The Search For the Beginning and the End of the Universe
Charles Seife (2003)
ISBN: 0670031798

Charles Seife, who holds a master's degree in mathematics from Yale University, has been a long time contributor to many of the most respected science journals. Seife's Alpha & Omega arrives as if in answer to the current revolution in cosmology. Now, more than ever, we are being bombarded by media reports of new mind-bending theories on the origin and destiny of our universe. Seife's grasp of complex astrophysical topics shines through as he lucidly communicates the significance of such fantastic concepts as string theory, M-theory, supersymmetry, dark matter and gravity waves. Alpha & Omega takes the reader on an awesome journey from a golden age of the gods to today's pioneering astrophysicists. There is also more than enough depth in Alpha & Omega for those already up to speed on recent cosmological developments. Seife deftly incorporates unique and innovative areas of research into a coherent narrative, as well as highlighting some of the most cutting edge experiments to look out for in the near future. Alpha & Omega is a definite must have for anyone interested in how science is contributing to revealing both our 'origins and our ultimate fate'.

Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown
Michael Shermer (2005)
ISBN: 0805077081

Michael Shermer, founder of Skeptic magazine, sets out to re-instate the authority of reason by confronting superstition, charlatanism and religious conviction head-on in this collection of highly stimulating essays. Science Friction's message is clear; having a skeptical mind is the necessary first step towards human understanding and meaning. Shermer's essays exhibit strong arguments and a sharp wit that he puts to good use when challenging the conventional wisdoms that we blindly accept as fact. Part of the book's fascination comes from Shermer showing us how easily we can embrace the irrational and implausible when confronted by the unknown. He relates these intriguing - and sometimes personal - scenarios well, which makes the inevitable and unmerciful barrage of logic aimed at such practices worthwhile reading. Science Friction is the product of a scientific visionary whose legacies of reason will stay with you long after you have finished reading the last essay.

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