A physics professor takes readers on a tour of the cosmic frontier, explaining what we now know and exploring the intriguing, sometimes terrifying possibilities that lie before us. Presenting the audacious research that today offers mind-bending insight into the cosmos, Davies confronts the universe's greatest outstanding enigmas.
... illumines the mysteries of quantum physics in a nonthreatening way ... metaphors are beneficial ... Davies is no lofty expert—he’s a fellow inquisitive journeyer, and What’s Eating the Universe? lives up to his promise of an alluring 'scientific detective story.'
Mr. Davies struggles not only with the difficulties of explaining demanding concepts to a nontechnical audience but also with the constraints of his book’s chosen format ... These challenges become only more acute when Mr. Davies explores how cosmology is determined by the physics of the very small ... A reader meeting the idea of charge conjugation, parity and time-reversal symmetry for the first time might be tempted merely to shrug ... Mr. Davies a keen insight into the realities of research ... He also offers perspective on the changing fashions of scientific opinion on subjects such as Einstein’s cosmological constant or the likelihood of extraterrestrial life ... sometimes the author’s straightforward prose can tip over into bathos.
It’s a short book presented in bite-size chapters: I suppose the idea is accessibility. But it’s hard to see who this book is for. Most readers of pop science books will be familiar with much of the content ... And for people who haven’t read those books, I have a feeling it won’t make much sense ... Tantalising ideas are left unexplored. He dashes off the theory of the universe coming from nothing in a single chapter, as he does the idea of a multiverse. There are many books dedicated entirely to those topics. This one feels like a series of book pitches stuck together. The book does have some interesting titbits ... at no point did I feel I was being initiated into the mysteries of the universe, just given reheated versions of things I’d read before, or teased with glimpses of more interesting stuff just out of view.