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Interview: Mind-Blowing Lessons About 'The End of Everything'

'...we also have this amazing power to understand so much.'
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  • The End of Everything
  • '...we also have this amazing power to understand so much.'

Publisher's Summary

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY * THE WASHINGTON POST * THE ECONOMIST * NEW SCIENTIST * PUBLISHERS WEEKLY * THE GUARDIAN 

From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an “engrossing, elegant” (The New York Times) look at five ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in cosmology.

We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now?

Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was a young student, when her astronomy professor informed her the universe could end at any moment, in an instant. This revelation set her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she takes us on a mind-bending tour through five of the cosmos’s possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay (the one that could happen at any moment!), and the Bounce. Guiding us through cutting-edge science and major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.

©2020 Dr. Katie Mack. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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From the beginning of time, humans have looked up to the sky in adoration and curiosity, a trend that continues today. The future of space exploration is abundant with people curious to discover what lies beyond the little blue marble we call Earth. Whether you’re someone who looks up to the sky and wonders what that one bright star is, or a seasoned astronomy enthusiast looking to become a pro, these audiobooks are full of insights and revelations.

Editor's Pick

Contemplating our doom (the far-off distant kind) is weirdly refreshing
I love to get my mind boggled by big science, but I really struggle to make my way through dense nonfiction (Bill Nye the Science Guy is more my speed). But I've been following Katie Mack on Twitter (@AstroKatie) ever since we started hearing about Betelgeuse dimming and potentially going supernova (the coolness of which I appreciate even more after listening to this book). Starting with the Big Bang for background, she proceeds to take us through the five scientifically most likely ways the world will one day meet its end—and make no mistake about it, it will end. Charming and humorous, and peppered with enough pop culture and sci-fi references to keep listeners like me grounded in our reality, Mack approaches the inevitability of our doom with the kind of levity I just really, really needed right now. —Emily C., Audible Editor

What listeners say about The End of Everything

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My New Favorite!

I absolutely love this book. I can't get enough of anything related to these topics. Katie Mack's delightful sense of humor and wit surpass any other. I didn't want this book to...end! But, like all good things, everything ends. This wonderful read has kept me company and I will miss it very much. I look forward to sharing it with my colleagues, friends, and anyone who comes my way who wants to know more about it.

8 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and entertaining with a doomsday theme

This was enjoyable and informative. I more-or-less keep up on my science reading and was under the impression that a heat death end of the universe was what science had settled on. Turns out the cosmologists have some other alternatives, equally annihilating if a bit less probable. Fortunately, all of us will be long, long gone before they may come to pass. Well, except for one possibility that could happen before you read this, but, if so, we'll never notice it. Makes me wish the Grateful Dead were still around to write a song about it all.

The book is written for the literate general reader in a breezy, humorous yet erudite style. You learn a fair amount of physics and a bit of philosophy. Highly recommended.

6 people found this helpful

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Great lecture

El autor muestra los descubrimientos fruto de sus estudios en el campo de la cosmologia con gracia y humor (irónico dado el tema central), los plantea de forma objetiva y sin pretensiones de influenciar la opinión del lector/oyente. 5/5

6 people found this helpful

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A newly found favorite author in physics

Basically she is delightful. Very fun overview of possible end (or cyclical) scenarios for the universe. Excellent physics writing for a layman.

4 people found this helpful

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Humorous, Enjoyable Treatment of a Dark Subject

Katie Mack is a cosmologist with a wonderful and irreverent sense of humor. This is a valuable trait in one who is writing about something as potentially dark about how the universe will come to an end. I trust her science is good. But to have the bonus that she puts it in a way that had me smiling and sometimes even laughing as I listened is a wonderful addition. Some of the science is a bit extreme for my brain but she generally simplifies (and acknowledges that she is doing so) in the interest of making something comprehensible while still true.

3 people found this helpful

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This book changed my life

I can't adequately describe in words how important this book is to me. I loved it! it's got a Carl Sagan flavor with cutting edge knowledge. I bought the hardbound vers to read and I'm now binge reading it a second time.

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So good I've read it twice so far

As soon as I finished THE END OF EVERYTHING, I immediately listened to it again. It's that entertaining and enlightening. I wouldn't have thought a book about how everything is going to come to an end would be laugh-out-loud funny, but I did indeed laugh out loud even as my mind was blown by the crazy ideas and solid science. Gabra Zackman's reading perfectly fits the style of Katie Mack's writing. I need to listen again to count the HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY references. They were so very apt.

2 people found this helpful

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Great experience

Heard about Katie Mack on the Geeks Guide to the Galaxy (best podcast in the world). I loved this book and this listen. Katie Mack has a great way of writing that makes complex theories very entertaining, humorous and thought provoking. Gabra Zackmans narrative was perfect as always. I will have to listen to this many times to actually get it, but I don’t mind. Great job all around.

2 people found this helpful

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One of the best scientific books of all time

One of very few scientific books that keeps my attention and sends me down a path of adventure and aww of the possibilities of how the universe ends.

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Assurance that the Solar System will outlast us.

Way above my knowledge level, but that didn't matter. A great summation of what we know at any given time and how that changes as time passes. Very interesting.

1 person found this helpful