How Old Is the Universe?
by David Weintraub
QB501 .W45 2011
New Book Island, 2nd floor
Ah, yes – the fun questions to sit and ponder. Why is the sky blue? What is the meaning of life? Which came first – the chicken or the egg? These sometimes seemingly inconsequential brainteasers provide a nice distraction from the everyday hustle and bustle. That’s why I chose this week’s featured title, which proves slightly more complicated than just counting the rings around it like a tree.
Weintraub, astronomy professor at Vanderbilt University, poses the innocent question of the age of the universe. While it’s pretty obviously that the universe is no spring chicken, many individuals across a variety of fields of study have their own ideas on its age. The author presents the journey by astronomers to reach the conclusion that the universe has been around for 13.7 billion years and the controversies that arise from the realms of religion and philosophy.