Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

DarkMatterandDinosaursDark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe
Lisa Randall
Ecco Books, sold by HarperCollins Publishers
October 27, 2015, 437 pages
Kindle edition $14.99,  Amazon hardcover $20.61

I love Lisa Randall’s work. I very much enjoyed Knocking on Heaven’s Door, which told the story of the Large Hadron Collider. Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs was an equally engaging tale.

Randall discusses a lot of different, yet related, topics in this book. She tells us about dark matter, dark energy, the objects orbiting in the distant (and still theoretical, not yet directly observed) Oort cloud, impacts on earth by meteors and comets, and the extinction of the dinosaurs. There is a lot of material here and I won’t attempt to summarize it. I’ll simply say that she ties together dark matter and the dinosaurs by suggesting that there is a measurable periodicity to celestial objects hitting earth, that this periodicity may be influenced by a dark matter disk, and the extinction of the dinosaurs was likely caused by an object or objects hitting earth governed by that periodicity.

Randall draws heavily on her own research as well as that of others. She does a great job in discussing the rigors of the scientific method and her intent to maintain that discipline. I am impressed by her ability to be both an academic research scientist and a popularizer of science. And oh, she even shares a photo of herself in a non-speaking cameo role on the Big Bang Theory.

Good stuff here.

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