Space Oddities: The Mysterious Anomalies Challenging Our Understanding of the Universe

Doubleday. Mar. 2024. 288p. ISBN 9780385549035. $29. SCI
Cliff (particle physics, Univ. of Cambridge) guides readers on a fascinating tour of the strange anomalies discovered through scientific experiments in particle physics and cosmology. He also looks at the impact of such phenomena on those disciplines’ future. He explains, for example, that some of the experiments conducted at the Large Hadron Collider—where he also works—and some of the measurements taken by the Hubble Telescope have yielded results that contradict the accepted model of elementary particles and forces that constitute matter, composition, and the scope of the universe. These conflicting outcomes have often led to more paradoxes within established theories, sparking tension among the scientific community.
VERDICT Geared toward curious lay readers willing to be challenged with mind-bending scientific puzzles. It helps to have some familiarity with physics, but this book is accessible with clear explanations, a sprinkling of humor, and a dash of poetry. The combination makes for an engaging follow-up to Cliff’s previous book, How To Make an Apple Pie from Scratch.
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