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

Space Oddities: The Mysterious Anomalies Challenging Our Understanding of the Universe By Harry Cliff Cover Image
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Experimental physicist at CERN and acclaimed science presenter Harry Cliff offers an eye-opening account of the inexplicable phenomena that science has only recently glimpsed, and that could transform our understanding of the fundamental nature of reality.

Something strange is going on in the cosmos. Scientists are uncovering a catalogue of weird phenomena that simply can’t be explained by our long-established theories of the universe. Particles with unbelievable energies are bursting from beneath the Antarctic ice.  Unknown forces seem to be tugging on the basic building blocks of matter. Stars are flying away from us far faster than anyone can explain.  

After decades of fruitless searching, could we finally be catching glimpses of a profound new view of our physical world? Or are we being fooled by cruel tricks of the data? 

In Space Oddities, Harry Cliff, a physicist who does cutting-edge work on the Large Hadron Collider, provides a riveting look at the universe’s most confounding puzzles.  In a journey that spans continents, from telescopes perched high above the Atacama Desert to the subterranean caverns of state-of-the-art particle colliders to balloons hovering over the frozen icesheets of the South Pole, he meets the men and women hunting for answers—who have staked their careers and reputations on the uncertain promise of new physics. 

The result is a mind-expanding, of-the-moment look at the fields of physics and cosmology as they transform before us.  With wonder, clarity, and a dose of humor, Cliff investigates the question: Are these anomalies accidents of nature, or could they be pointing us toward vast, hidden worlds?

About the Author

HARRY CLIFF is a particle physicist based at the University of Cambridge and carries out research with the LHCb experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. He was a curator at the Science Museum, London for seven years and regularly gives public lectures and makes TV and radio appearances. His 2015 TED talk "Have We Reached the End of Physics?" has been viewed nearly 3 million times.

Praise For…

"[Cliff] is also an engaging writer, with a keen ear for the fun metaphor and an observant eye when describing the scientific milieu in which he operates. . . . Mr. Cliff splendidly captures the behind-the-scenes experiences that are rarely reported on."
The Wall Street Journal

"Space Oddities is as fascinating as its title suggests. Anomalies are always interesting, sometimes fascinating, and occasionally revelatory, and Harry Cliff recounts with vivid clarity the stories of some of the most striking oddnesses that have lit up the landscape of modern physics. I enjoyed it enormously."
—Philip Pullman, New York Times bestselling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy

"Many of us laugh at the implausible cosmologies believed by our medieval and ancient forebears. Dr. Cliff lays out the gaps and anomalies at the edge of modern science, which may make the best theories of today look as quaint as those of long ago."
Kelly and Zach Weinersmith, New York Times bestselling authors of A City on Mars

"Superb . . . examines contemporary physics’ most intriguing mysteries through profiles of the scientists trying to solve them. . . . Cliff’s lucid explanations do a remarkable job of making the complicated physics accessible and even exciting, and the focus on the scientists’ stories ensconces the heady ideas in approachable, human narratives. This is a first-rate dispatch from the cutting edge of physics."
Publishers Weekly (starred)

“A fascinating tour of the strange anomalies discovered through scientific experiments in particle physics and cosmology. . . . 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.”
Library Journal

"Cliff converts complex physics into eminently readable popular science."

"An authoritative investigation of emerging scientific problems. . . . Cliff’s optimism, light sense of humor, and enthusiasm for his subject shine through." 
Kirkus Reviews
Product Details
ISBN: 9780385549035
ISBN-10: 0385549032
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: March 26th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English