The Edge of Physics, By Anil Ananthaswamy


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The Independent Culture

These "dispatches from the frontiers of cosmology" form the literary equivalent of the recent Horizon programme on the same topic.

The inquisitive, globetrotting Anil Ananthaswamy heads for Paranel in Chile where the Very Large Telescope (four mirrors totalling 50 square metres) gathers light dispatched from quasars "nearly 8 billion years ago".

In the Antarctic, he sees the 1-cubic-kilometre IceCube neutrino telescope intended to test the proposition that "spacetime is far from smooth" at a quantum level.

At CERN, he visits the Large Hadron Collider intended to create "energies never before created on earth". Deftly incorporating the theories tested by this cutting-edge kit, Ananthaswamy offers enlightenment on dark energy.