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The End of Everything

(Astrophysically Speaking)

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

“[A] pleasure...I found it helpful—not reassuring, certainly, but mind-expanding—to be reminded of our place in a vast cosmos.” —James Gleick, The New York Times Book Review

“A thrilling tour of potential cosmic doomsdays....Beyond her deep expertise, Ms. Mack’s infectious enthusiasm for communicating the finer points of cosmological doom elevates The End of Everything over any other book on the topic I have read.” —The Wall Street Journal

From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an accessible and eye-opening 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.

Dr. Katie Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist, exploring a range of questions in cosmology, the study of the universe from beginning to end. She is currently an assistant professor of physics at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster. She has been published in a number of popular publications, such as Scientific American, Slate, Sky & Telescope, Time, and Cosmos magazine, where she is a columnist. She can be found on Twitter as @AstroKatie.

Gabra Zackman knows romance. Her clever and “thrilling romantic caper” (Library Journal) Bod Squad series was inspired by the more than one hundred romance and women’s fiction titles she has narrated for audio. She divides her time between her native New York City and Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Katie Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist, exploring a range of questions in cosmology, the study of the universe from beginning to end. She is currently an assistant professor of physics at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster. She has been published in a number of popular publications, such as Scientific American, Slate, Sky & Telescope, Time, and Cosmos magazine, where she is a columnist. She can be found on Twitter as @AstroKatie.

"While forecasting the death of the universe may seem morbid, this audiobook, written by astrophysicist Katie Mack and narrated primarily by Gabra Zackman, is surprisingly fun and informative. Mack delivers the introduction, in which she introduces listeners to her field of study, along with some of its basic concepts and terminology. Mack's enthusiasm and wry sense of humor set the tone for the rest of the audiobook. Zackman then delivers the five major theories on how the universe could end. . . . [She] channels Mack's personality while leading listeners on a jaunty tour of the astrophysical end of everything."

– AudioFile Magazine

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