ISBN : 9780198814825
How does the scientific enterprise really work to illuminate the origins of life and the universe itself? The quest to understand our universe, how it may have originated and evolved, and especially the conditions that allow it to support the existence of life forms, has been a central theme in religion for millennia and in science for centuries. In the past half-century, in particular, enormous progress in particle and nuclear physics and cosmology has clarified the essential role of imperfections - deviations from perfect symmetry or homogeneity or predictability - in establishing conditions that allow for structure in the universe that can support the development of life. Many of these deviations are tiny and seem mysteriously fine-tuned to allow for life. The goal of this book is to review the recent and ongoing scientific research exploring these imperfections, in a broad-ranging, non-mathematical approach, with an emphasis on the intricate tapestry of elegant experiments
1 Thank Heaven for Little Flaws; 2 Where's the Antimatter Gone, Long Time Passing?; 3 Trinity; 4 Water, Water, Here and There; 5 Expansion Everlasting; 6 The Dark Side; 7 Randomness and Complexity; 8 The Edge of the Abyss; 9 Lucky or Special?