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哈佛美女教授新作《暗物质和恐龙:宇宙惊人的互联性》 精选

已有 10029 次阅读 2016-12-15 11:28 |个人分类:道法自然|系统分类:科普集锦| 暗物质, 美女教授

Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe

Lisa Randall

暗物质和恐龙:宇宙惊人的互联性

丽萨兰德尔

 

作者简介

丽萨·兰德尔(LisaRandall

1962618出生于美国纽约皇后区的一个犹太人家庭,世界著名理论物理学家,粒子物理学和宇宙学领域的权威、哈佛大学教授,是美国国家科学院、美国哲理协会和美国艺术科学学院的会员。她获得许多奖项和荣誉学位。

丽萨本科及博士均毕业于哈佛大学(1987年),后在美国著名高等学府加州大学伯克利分校以及劳伦斯伯克利国家实验室从事博士后研究(1987-1991),而后执教于麻省理工学院和哈佛大学。

身为哈佛大学理论物理学专业的博士,丽萨多年来潜心研究引力、时空的额外维度、膜宇宙模型和弦理论。2007年,丽萨被《时代》杂志评选为全球“100名最有影响力人物”之一,被公认为当今全球最权威的额外维度物理学家。丽萨因美貌荣登美国《时尚》杂志,被评选为“二十一世纪75位最具影响力的人物”之一。

她的代表著作《弯曲的通道:揭开宇宙隐卷维之谜》(2005)和《叩响天门》(2011),一举入选《纽约时报》“100本最佳畅销书”之列。她的杰作《发现希格斯子:虚空的能量》(2011)、《暗物质和恐龙:宇宙惊人的互联性》(2015)同样不同凡响。

当人们不能解决宇宙问题时,发现兰德尔教授在攀岩和滑雪,或对艺术与科学之间的关系作出贡献。2009年在巴黎蓬壁度中心(PompidouCenter)演奏了她的超乐序曲(HypermusicPrologue)。





本书简介

丽萨·兰德尔(Lisa Randall)《暗物质与恐龙:宇宙惊人的互联性》(Dark Matter andthe DinosaursTheAstounding Interconnectedness of the Universe),鲍利海(Bodley Head)出版社。这位美国著名理论物理学家和宇宙学家的新书被出版商称为“最激动人心的科学书籍”,探讨了暗物质(据说宇宙的大部分都由这种神秘的物质构成)扰乱了太阳系边缘的一颗彗星的轨道,与地球轨迹发生碰撞。


哈佛大学理论物理学家丽莎·兰德尔表示,恐龙灭绝可能是暗物质作祟。

人类的起源跟恐龙和暗物质有关?据美国《商业内参》1114报道,美国哈佛大学理论物理学家丽莎兰德尔在新书《暗物质与恐龙》中表示,恐龙的灭绝给人类的出现创造了条件,而恐龙之所以灭绝,其实是暗物质在作祟。

不少古生物学家认为,大约6600万年前,一个长约9英里(约合1.4万米)的天体撞击地球,导致全球75%的物种灭绝——包括绝大多数恐龙。灵长类生物则在这场天灾当中幸存下来,并在此后的6600万年中持续进化,学会双腿站立、行走,直到进化成现代人类。

有人说天体撞地球只是机遇使然,不过,兰德尔认为,此事和暗物质有关。全宇宙中85%的物质属于暗物质。截至目前,没有人能直接检测、观测到暗物质,但它强大的引力早已名声在外。

兰德尔假设,银河中存在暗物质。太阳系围绕银河中心转动的时候,会上下摆动。暗物质如果切实存在的话,它和太阳系之间的相对距离也会周期性的发生变化。科学家通过测算发现,如果以上假设成立,两者每3200万年会有一次“亲密接触”。有趣的是,地球上每过2500万至3500万年就有一次大规模生物灭绝,两者周期大致吻合。

在兰德尔看来,当太阳系和暗物质“亲密接触”的时候,暗物质会影响太阳系之外10001万个天文单位(约合1496亿到1.49万亿公里)范围之内、宽度在12英里(约合19公里)以上的物质,通过引力吸引它们飞向太阳系。当它们光临的时候,地球众生无疑要经历一场生死劫难。兰德尔认为,6600万年的恐龙就见识了这一幕。

不过,兰德尔的这一理论还只是个假设,目前缺乏证据支撑。兰德尔希望观测星球运动,以不规则、反常行动为切入点,证明暗物质的存在,但她要走的路还很长。


   6600万年前,来自外太空的一颗十英里宽的天体以不可思议的速度侵入地球,并毁灭了恐龙,以及行星上四分之三的其它物种。那这个天体来自何处、为何如此?这与暗物质(宇宙中最神秘的难以捉摸的东西)有何联系,它通过引力与普通物质(但不发射或吸收光)发生作用。天文学家知道它存在,但几乎不可见。

   《暗物质和恐龙》一书讲述了大爆炸理论、宇宙膨胀、宇宙组成和我们太阳系位置的故事;历史上的物种绝灭,我们知道这由于天体撞击地球,而且未来有可能撞击我们人类。而这产生如下激进思想:暗物质可能最终对恐龙灭绝负有责任。

   宇宙视界膨胀之旅,用新思想综合了我们对宇宙的了解,《暗物质和恐龙》是一本出自一位有天赋的科学家和作家之手的、充满惊奇的著作。

   在此书中,丽莎·兰德尔教授是当代最有影响力的理论物理学家之一,带领读者进行一次穿越宇宙历史的智慧冒险,显示出在宇宙最遥远区域内的事件创造了我们行星上生命的生死条件。


书评

媒体推荐

Successfulscience writing tells a complete story of the ‘how’-the methodical marvelbuilding up to the ‘why’-and Randall does just that.” (New York Times BookReview)


A crackingread, combining storytelling of the highest order with a trove of informationon subjects as diverse as astrophysics, evolutionary biology, geology andparticle physics. What’s remarkable is that it all fits together.” (Wall StreetJournal)


The universe,Randall eloquently argues, is an organic thing, a symphonic thing, with all itsmyriad parts contributing their own notes.” (Time Magazine)


Randallsucceeds in guiding the reader through the history of the cosmos and the Earthfrom the Big Bang to the emergence of life as we know it in a fun andcaptivating way. . . . [This is] a very enjoyable read for both lay readers andscientists.” (Science Magazine)


The nature ofthe impactor remains unknown, but if it was indeed a comet dislodged from theOort Cloud, then Randall’s book provides an entertaining and radicalexplanation of the events leading up to their ultimate extinction.”(Philadelphia Inquirer)


ThroughRandall’s brilliant research we see a universe unfold that is far grander thananyone at any time could have imagined… She is a progressive thinker, avisionary capable of bridging the vast gulf between speculation and realityscience.” (San Francisco Book Review)


Randall, aHarvard professor, is one of the world’s leading experts on particle physicsand cosmology. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, she takes readers on anilluminating scientific adventure, beginning 66 million years ago, thatconnects dinosaurs, comets, DNA, and the future of the planet.” (HuffingtonPost)


Brilliant andthought provoking…The greatest strength of Randall’s book is that it lacks anyoverly academic jargon and is reasonably easy to understand. Dark Matter andthe Dinosaurs illustrates beautifully that there is so much left to bediscovered about ourselves and the universe that we call home.” (BUST)


The nature ofthe impactor remains unknown, but if it was indeed a comet dislodged from theOort Cloud, then Randall’s book provides an entertaining and radicalexplanation of the events leading up to their ultimate extinction.” (PhysicsWorld)


The nature ofthe impactor remains unknown, but if it was indeed a comet dislodged from theOort Cloud, then Randall’s book provides an entertaining and radicalexplanation of the events leading up to their ultimate extinction.” (WHYY RadioTimes)


Mind-blowing.. . . If [Randall is] correct. . . . it would be a revolution in human thoughtevery bit as gargantuan as that precipitated by Copernicus. (House of SpeakeasyBlog)


The nature ofthe impactor remains unknown, but if it was indeed a comet dislodged from theOort Cloud, then Randall’s book provides an entertaining and radicalexplanation of the events leading up to their ultimate extinction.” (On Beingwith Krista Tippett)


[Randall’s]is a fascinating, tantalizing theory, linking life on Earth-or the extinctionthereof-with the very origins of our universe.” (Publishers Weekly, StarredReview)


Engrossing inits own right, this theory opens onto an illuminating survey of thecutting-edge science now deployed to test its components, including its daringredefinition of dark matter. As she did in Warped Passages (2005) and Knockingon Heaven’s Door (2011), Randall delivers intellectual exhilaration.”(Booklist, Starred Review)


Writing in adeceptively chatty narrative style, Randall provides a fascinating window intothe excitement of discovery and the rigor required to test and elaborate newhypotheses. A top-notch science book from a leading researcher.” (Kirkus,Starred Review)


Only Lisa Randall can take us on such athrilling scientific journey—from dinosaurs to DNA to comets to dark matter andto past and future of our species. Randall’s research is so thorough, the storyso powerful, and her storytelling so compelling that I could not put this bookdown.” (Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of Emperor of All Maladies)


The nature ofthe impactor remains unknown, but if it was indeed a comet dislodged from theOort Cloud, then Randall’s book provides an entertaining and radicalexplanation of the events leading up to their ultimate extinction.” (WalterKirn, author of Blood Will Out and Up In the Air)


The wonderand curiosity Lisa Randall so obviously feels about our world and the universeitself is evident on every page. [Randall] render[s] complex subject matterinto a gripping page-turner that is impossible to put down. Dark Matter and theDinosaurs is a fascinating, mind-expanding experience.” (Augusten Burroughs,author of This is How and Running with Scissors)


Lisa Randallhas produced an intriguing, insightful book that brilliantly weaves togetherthe disparate subjects of cosmology and biology. . . . A simple, elegant theorythat finally makes sense of mass extinctions. A must read for anyone interestedin the precariousness of life on earth.” (Jack Horner, MacArthur Fellow andauthor of How To Build a Dinosaur)


Dark Matterand the Dinosaurs is . . . a masterpiece of science writing: a detective storythat illuminates the nature of scientific research while explaining how ourvery existence may be connected to unexpected properties of the dark matterthat fills the universe.” (Kip Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physicsat CalTech)


A provocativeand revealing account of how scientists like herself are uncovering deepconnections between human existence and the wider universe. A terrific read.”(Timothy Ferris, author of Coming of Age in the Milky Way and Seeing in theDark)


World-renownedphysicist Lisa Randall brings a fresh twist to one of the world’s oldest murdermysteries, the death of the dinos. With lively writing and wonderfullyaccessible explanations, she now convincingly implicates a new suspect asultimately responsible for the hit: a novel kind of dark matter.” (Max Tegmark,physicist and author of Our Mathematical Universe)


It’s a tallorder to cover everything from the Big Bang to today’s ongoing Sixth Extinctionin a consistently engaging way for a general audience. Particle physicistRandall delivers, peppering serious science with anecdotes about Roombas andfortune cookie messages.” (Discover Magazine)


By groundingone in the principles of cosmology, particle physics, geology, astrophysics,paleontology and meteoritics, Randall provides the reader with a broad spectrumlook at not only the world around them, but the worlds around that world, thegalaxies and galactic clusters, filaments, sheets and, eventually, theUniverse.” (Paste)



A crackingread, combining storytelling of the highest order with a trove of information.. . . What’s remarkable is that it all fits together.”—Wall Street Journal


Successfulscience writing tells a complete story of the ‘how’—the methodical marvelbuilding up to the ‘why’—and Randall does just that.”—New York Times BookReview


[Randall] isa lucid explainer, street-wise and informal. Without jargon or mathematics, shesteers us through centuries of sometimes tortuous astronomical history.”—TheGuardian



Like snowshoeing - worth the scenery, but aton of work January 24, 2016

By sierra - Published on Amazon.com


The focal point of Dark Matter and theDinosaurs is a new scientific model that introduces the existence ofself-interacting dark matter. In theory, this self-interacting dark matter isable to form a dark matter disc within the Milky Way that causes periodic cometcrashes on earth, contributing to mass extinctions such as that of thedinosaurs. The majority of the book provides mini introductory courses on thevarious sciences that the author feels gives you the appropriate background tounderstand this model, which is detailed in the last couple chapters of thebook. The model has yet to be proven, although it's likely that it will eitherbe accepted or discounted within the next 5 or so years due to current ongoingstudies.

While the information and material coveredin Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs is inherently interesting, I struggled withhow the material was conveyed. The writing style was overly academic, withparagraph-long compound sentences, forced anecdotes, parenthetical asides, andoverly complex word choices and sentence structures. Despite having ascientific background, this made it challenging to absorb the information.Sentences often need to be read several times, first trying to make sense ofthe written language, and then the scientific concept.

This book would have benefited from astronger editing hand, particularly in the Introduction and Part I.I have nodoubt of the author's passion or intelligence, and appreciate the dark mattermodel, but just wish the scientific material had been presented in a morestraight-forward manner. I'd say reading this book is a little like snowshoeing- worth the beautiful scenery, but a ton of work.


Don't worry, the dinosaurs are coming...June 5, 2016

By Amazon Customer

Randall eventually talks about the massextinction event that probably killed most species on Earth - includingland-based dinosaurs - in chapter 12. Up until then, be prepared to learn alittle bit of everything else, from the beginning of the Universe. The book feelslike it is based on a syllabus for a 16-week college course and takes its timegetting to the point about each topic.

Three stars because there are severalediting issues that are distracting for this reader. The most egregious errorI've found is this sentence on page 216 (hardcover edition): "The ejectafell exactly on the paleontological boundary, confirming that the impactoccurred at the " That's the entire sentence! Where is the end of it? Andisn't this kind of an important thought to finish, in a chapter discussing alife-ending impact event? Hopefully the publisher will require a second roundof proofreading before the paperback is released.


Disjointed and uninteresting book September4, 2016

By Michael Stubben

While the title captured my interest, thebook itself did not. Everything about dark matter is conjecture, and the bookreally doesn't establish any link between dark matter and the demise of thedinosaurs. Much of the second half of the book reviews current experiments andhypotheses about dark matter that unsurprisingly reveal little. I would notrecommend this book.


目录

引言

第一篇宇宙的演化

1     秘密的暗物质

2     发现暗物质

3     大问题

4     近乎太初:很好的出发点

5     星系诞生

第二篇活跃的太阳系

6     流星体、流星和陨石

7     短暂而辉煌的彗星生命

8     太阳系的边缘

9     危险地活着

10    震慑和敬畏

11    生物绝灭

12    恐龙的终结

13    宜居带内的生命

14    该来的躲不掉

15    寻找来自奥尔特云的彗星

第三篇破解暗物质身份

16    不可见世界的物质

17    如何在黑夜中看见

18    相互联系着的暗物质

19    黑暗的速度

20    探测暗晕

21    暗物质和彗星撞击

结论:仰视

致谢

图件清单

索引


注:本人刚准备好材料,打算推介这位美女教授的著作给出版社,没想到已有版社最近出版了。所以,还是顺带发布介绍一下此书。希望感兴趣的读者阅读之。



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