The revolutions of the universe
• A book that revolutionizes our ideas about the past and future evolution of the universe, unveiling the secrets of that fascinatingly process by which particles of matter are born and pass from the stars to us and from us to the stars in an infinite number of universes, only one of which is ours.
• An extraordinary journey exploring stars, meteorites, galaxies, cosmic rays, gravitational waves, antimatter, natural panspermia ... a new puzzle of the infinite.
What will the universe be like in 14 million years? With scientific rigor and exemplary clarity, Bignami brings together the fruits of a life spent behind the telescope to take us on a journey to celestial bodies and the infinite spaces made of dark matter, of antimatter, to alien life, and to the planets we call “inhabitable.”
Three great revolutions are at the center of this book: the cosmological revolution (by which we decipher information from the rocks that fall from the sky and from cosmic rays), the planetological revolution (to imagine the possible existence of an exoplanet) and the astrobiological revolution (new telescopes will inaugurate the astronomy of terrestrial life). The universe we “see” with our eyes is merely the universe of the matter of which we are made.
Observing the evolution of the universe over billions of years, therefore, means understanding what the future of humanity will look like, and how and when homo sapiens and its descendants will be capable of spreading throughout the galaxy.
GIOVANNI F. BIGNAMI, (1944-2017) was one of Europe’s most important astrophysicists. President of the Italian Space Agency (2007- 2008) and of the National Institute of Astrophysics (2011-2015), in 2006 he was named Officier de la Legion d’Honneur by the French Republic. Over his professional career he received numerous awards and international acknowledgments. Author of over 200 scientific essays, Bignami published works of popular science such as Il mistero delle sette sfere (Mondadori, 2013).