The 4 Percent Universe by Richard Panek
Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

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The epic, behind-the-scenes story of an astounding gap in our scientific knowledge of the cosmos.

In the past few years, a handful of scientists have been in a race to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only 4 percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, our books, and every planet, star, and galaxy. The rest—96 percent of the universe—is completely unknown.

Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of how scientists reached this conclusion, and what they’re doing to find this "dark" matter and an even more bizarre substance called dark energy. Based on in-depth, on-site reporting and hundreds of interviews—with everyone from Berkeley’s feisty Saul Perlmutter and Johns Hopkins’s meticulous Adam Riess to the quietly revolutionary Vera Rubin—the book offers an intimate portrait of the bitter rivalries and fruitful collaborations, the eureka moments and blind alleys, that have fueled their search, redefined science, and reinvented the universe.


About Richard Panek

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RICHARD PANEK is the prize-winning author of The 4% Universe and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Science Writing.
Published January 10, 2011 by Mariner Books. 320 pages
Genres: Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Astronomers also believed that gravity was slowing expansion of the universe but debated if galaxies would reverse themselves, continue to recede ever more slowly or (the favorite theory) simply stop.

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Dallas News

By FRED BORTZ / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News Fred Bortz is the author of 19 science books for young readers and adults, including a 20th-century history, Physics: Decade by Decade (Facts on File, 2007).

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The 4 Percent Universe: Dark ...

Bookmarks Magazine

In addition to articles in Discover, Natural History, the New York Times, and Smithsonian, science journalist Richard Panek is the author of Seeing Is Believing (1998), an account of the first telescope and the monumental shift it brought about in our understanding of our place in the universe, a...

Jan 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The 4 Percent Universe: Dark ...

Science News

Vera Rubin, a pioneer in gathering evidence of dark matter, and various players in the discovery of dark energy are seen as they alternately scratch their heads at astonishing findings and bitterly squabble over who was first to announce them.

Apr 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The 4 Percent Universe: Dark ...

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