The first section focuses on our universe and where we fit in.
The first chapter details the Big Bang Theory, which suggests that the universe
was formed in just a few brief moments, it talks about what is needed to start
a universe and how infinitesimally small the stuff that makes our universe is.
Two young astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, accidentally detected
visible matter believed to be remnants of the Big Bang, when they experienced
static while trying to broadcast something, and thus inadvertently discovered what
could be evidence of this now-popular theory. Although they shared a Nobel
Prize for their work, neither man realized the significance of their discovery
until they read about it in The New
York Times. In section 2 the size, shape, weight and orbit of the Earth are
the main focus. In this part, Bryson gives and overview of important geologists
such as Henry Cavendish, who, in 1797, measured, with accuracy, the weight of
the Earth. These chapters also discus Marie Curie’s work with uranium, and
explain why it was a European, not an American, as it should have been if people
noticed what they had, who first described a dinosaur. The third section is
about the theory of relativity and quantum physics at as simple a level as
possible. This section shows us the flexible fabric of spacetime and the insane
amount of energy trapped in each and every molecule. It also attacks the crazy,
complex world of the sub-atomic, where for something to exist it must be
observed, electrons teleport, and the universe is comprised of mostly nothing. The
startling truths in Part 4 show us the dangers the Earth faces each day. These
include the super volcano in Yellowstone, they quite likely possibility of a meteor
impact, earthquakes not bound by tectonic plates, the possibility of another
ice age, and of course global warming. The last section is about life on earth.
Life is astonishingly abundant, and, for no reason we know of, lacking in
diversity. Every single living organism has the same blueprint, which he uses
to point to a common ancestor. He wraps it up by pointing out how lucky we are
to by here. More than 90 percent of all species that have lived on Earth since
the beginning of time have gone extinct, some just through natural processes
and others because of mankind’s messing with the planet.


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