"Gravity is the great architect of the universe", so explains the physicist Brian Cox in his new television series, Wonders of the Universe. At the beginning of time, gravity drew matter together to forge the stars and sculpt the planets. Across the universe, it creates shape and structure, guides orbits and steers vast, complex galaxies through space. But, as Cox points out, gravity is also the great destroyer because, when the largest stars collapse, it crushes all matter out of existence to form black holes. With forays into black holes, neutron stars and the beauty of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, Brian Cox explores the vastness and mystery of the universe.Wonders of the Universe
Wonders of the Universe continues on Sunday 20 March on BBC2.
There was a time when ‘universe’ meant ‘all there is’, and the idea of more than one universe would have appeared a contradiction in terms. But many of the major developments in fundamental theoretical physics have led to the notion of a whole variety of parallel universes. The physicist Brian Greene in his latest book, The Hidden Reality, delves into the world of universes, from the quilted, to the bubble, to the holographic. In some, the parallel universes are separated from us by enormous stretches of time or space, in others, hovering just millimeters away. He argues that, although the subject is highly speculative, mathematics is central to these ideas and has the capacity to reveal surprising and hidden truths about the workings of the world.The Hidden Reality
The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos is published by Allen Lane.
Around 1500 years ago India was one of the most advanced countries in science. Today the science journalist Angela Saini asks whether the country is undergoing a renaissance. From the Indian constitution which exhorts its citizens “to develop the scientific temper”, to the increasing investment in science education, India is on the verge of entering the scientific premier league. In her book, Geek Nation, Saini argues that the country possesses a strong culture of creativity and innovation, and both the government and the public are highly enthusiastic about science. In India the scientific and pseudo-scientific, the mainstream and the alternative, rub alongside each other, and Saini believes this gives scientists the freedom to explore the edges of what is believed to be possible.Angela Saini
Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking Over the World is published by Hodder & Stoughton.
Start The Week sets the cultural agenda for the week ahead, with high-profile guests discussing the…