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Splinters of Infinity

Nonfiction: Science
Unabridged   8.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/12/2024

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Splinters of Infinity

Cosmic Rays and the Clash of Two Nobel Prize-Winning Scientists over the Secrets of Creation

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Digital Download ISBN:9781696603027


The riveting story of a modern age scientific feud between two Nobel Prize–winning scientists over the nature of cosmic rays and the universe.

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Product Description

Set in a revolutionary era of physics and science when a series of rapid-fire discoveries was upending our understanding of the universe, Splinters of Infinity by Mark Wolverton tells a little-known story: the tale of two of America's foremost physicists, Robert Millikan (1868–1953) and Arthur Compton (1892–1962), who found themselves locked in an intense, often deeply personal, conflict about cosmic rays. Confirmed in 1912, cosmic rays—enigmatic forms of penetrating radiation—seemed to raise all new questions about the origins of the universe, but they also offered the potential to explain everything—or reveal the existence of God.

In engaging, accessible prose, Wolverton takes the listener through the twists and turns of the Millikan-Compton debate, one of the first major public examples of how heated the controversies among scientists could become—and the lengths that scientists would go to settle their disputes. Along the way, Wolverton probes the forever elusive question, still unanswered today, about where cosmic rays come from and what they reveal about black holes, distant galaxies, the existence of dark matter and dark energy, and the birth of the universe, concluding that these splinters of infinity may not hold the keys to the secret of creation but do bring us ever closer to it.

Author Bio

Mark Wolverton is the author of Nuclear Weapons; Burning the Sky: Operation Argus and the Untold Story of the Cold War Nuclear Tests in Outer Space; A Life in Twilight: The Final Years of J. Robert Oppenheimer; The Depths of Space: The Story of the Pioneer Planetary Probes; and The Science of Superman.