Paperback Day!

Young books grow up so fast these days, don’t they? It seems like just last November that The Particle at the End of the Universe was born, kicking and screaming. And now it’s all grown up, and there is already a paperback edition. What’s a concerned parent to do? (Now I know how Billy Ray Cyrus must feel.)

I should point out that, not only is the paperback less expensive than the hardcover (and therefore very easy to give as a present or even hand out to strangers whose day you’d like to brighten), there is also a new afterword. Among other things, it mentions the possibility of a phase transition and the end of the universe as we know it. And I corrected the picture of particles moving in a magnetic field, which got the right-hand rule wrong in the first printing. Science is hard!

Particle at the End of the Universe

The response to the book has been enormously gratifying. It got good reviews, was on a couple best-of-2012 lists, and has been longlisted/shortlisted for some prizes. Not bad for an atheist-liberal-cultist screed.

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18 Responses to Paperback Day!

  1. Paulina says:

    Congratulations! I guess a visit at Amazon is in order.
    BTW, the cover does remind me of “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” – has it been done on purpose, or am I so DouglasAdams-biased?

  2. Sean Carroll says:

    Let’s say it was an homage to Douglas Adams.

  3. Paulina says:

    I do have the hardcover, it’s that I need everything with “at the End of the Universe” that is available.

  4. James ODwyer says:

    The amazon review closes with “You’re anger, is futile.” Strangely poetic.

  5. Bob F. says:

    Congrats! I read the Kindle edition, and I’m still wondering why the answer was 42.

  6. LArryPhotonic says:

    Where’s my copy? I pre-ordered from Amazon.

  7. Sili says:

    So when is Spacetime and Geometry coming out in a soft version?

  8. Gordon Munro says:

    In the early 60’s lived near Caltech and used to david ever time I walked past Prof. Feynman’s office. You are one of his succesors in the popularization of science, Feynman Sei Dank. Keep up your masterful “screedification” at any sub-tachion velocity you desire, please.

  9. Mark M says:


    Will there be an updated Kindle or ePub version with the new content?

    Otherwise: yay!


  10. ABritton says:


    You forgot to include MONEY-GRUBBING-atheist-liberal-cultist… Good thing he didn’t resort to ad homonym attacks though.

  11. Jelica says:

    I preordered the book and read it immediately. Great book. Hope new one comes out soon.

  12. rolandc says:

    how do you find the time to even ‘hear’ aboooot that cyrus chickie … do tell you gossip monger you …

  13. rolandc says:

    to bobf .. pay attention for jimini cricketts’sake bobby … the 42 answer was arrived at .. (pssst hey sean can you fill me in as to what bobf is talking about so i do not look like an idjit from the bush family) … be right back with you bobf … still waiting for god to answer …

  14. rolandc says:

    ooops sean i keepa fog-getting … to axe … why am i a purple amoeba while you are an egyptian -ptoleme am sure- as your photo tag …

  15. Dan says:

    I had just posted my comment in response to the screening of Catalyst episode titled: ‘Custom Universe – finetuned for us?’ As you had participation on that program, and your site was included on the webpage for that episode, I could like to send you a copy, so that you may respond to my opinion:

    The other day, I’ve seen in Sydney the ‘Custom Universe – finetuned for us?’ episode of Catalyst, narrated by Dr Graham Phillips.
    While this programme was presented as something significant in regards to the “big questions” about our universe, what actually was delivered comprised of the same old fairytales, spun by either the silly professors and physicists, whose theories put science fiction writers to shame, or those who are on periphery of understanding but are restricted from uncovering the truth about all that physically surrounds them by their own flawed understanding of science.
    I know this because few years ago I had read the second edition of a book by Victor Senchenko, the ‘Revelations of a Human Space Navigator’. Part of this book explains exactly how everything is formed, and why it all behaves as it does.
    It’s impossible for me to write everything about the astonishing, and yet common sense information contained in that book. However, I would like to say that Senchenko explains exactly what, how and why everything that’s formed, (including the temporary, ever changing structure of this universe and all the countless universes throughout the infinity of vacuum space) is based on restrictive limitations. It is these physical limitations applicable to all the fundamental particles, he calls inunens, which stands for: individual units of energy (he graphically explains what they are, and why they behave as they do) that leads them to change in a predictable manner, which they all do after forming every atom and element.
    And why is this restrictive limitation applies to every fundamental particle’s behaviour?
    A. It’s their body shape with their internal and external directions of heat attraction, and B. It’s their intelligence. That’s right, their intelligence. They know what to do when it’s needed of them. That’s why all in existence doesn’t merge into one big blob, but follows eternal cycles of ‘unions’ and ‘dispersals’. That’s why periodical table of elements had been compiled: all atoms which combine to form elements are made of inunens, individual units of energy, which know what to do and at what rate they need to do it when caused to alter their structure, in process producing ‘work’ in dispersing. And that’s why gods not only don’t exist, but couldn’t exist from not being needed by the inunens: the fundamental particles.
    So while Senchenko explains that everything in existence is formed of inunens, and by that comprising of intelligence (all of which can be witnessed in everything that surrounds us; where every element behaves exactly as it should without deviation of its characteristic behaviour), in this programme we are presented with the following silliness:

    “It’s like a loop through time, stretching from the far future back to the Big Bang, the future selecting the past and the past allowing the future – mind-bogglingly, both causing each other.”

    Professor Paul Davies
    “The universe, its laws and its observers all explain each other in a self-consistent package.”

    “As wacky as the idea sounds, it was championed by the extremely eminent physicist John Wheeler, famous for naming black holes.”

    Professor Paul Davies
    “He believed – the way he put it, that the laws of physics all came out of ‘higgledy-piggledy’. In other words, back in the Big Bang, the laws hadn’t really sort of congealed – they were still very loose and approximate – and that as the universe expanded and cooled, the laws focused down on the set that we now have, which turns out to be a set that is friendly to life. “

    Here we have ‘extremely eminent physicist John Wheeler’ and the like, believing that there were some mysterious laws that had floated somewhere in period of our early universe, which then “focused down on the set that we now have”.
    Therefore, for these ‘extremely eminent physicists’, it was the Laws that first existed before everything else, in the way theists claim it was God, and this Law is just as evasive as God (from being nonexistent). And this mumbo-jumbo is taken seriously, rather than being immediately dismissed by any sensible person.
    Senchenko explains that intelligence is not the same as consciousness. While all is made of intelligence of inunens (this intelligence being responsible for all physical change that occurs in everything) brains, all brains, are capable of maintaining some basic consciousness. It is this consciousness that allows brains to be aware of surrounding environment (space), using their intelligence to calculate reflective responses and other living functions. Human brains, as Senchenko explains, have developed multiple consciousnesses. That’s why we are able to be aware of being aware.

    Dr Graham Phillips poses a question:
    “Here’s a great enigma. Evolution seems to have made our brains too good. Like all animals, we evolved through the survival-of-the-fittest laws of the jungle. But our brains are able to do much more than just survive. We can understand complex mathematics, for example, and physics. We can do something so removed from daily survival as study the beginnings of the universe. Why?”

    Well, if he really wants to know, he should read the ‘Revelations of a Human Space Navigator, second edition’. To read Senchenko’s explanations is to become fully knowing of who we humans are, what we are, and why we behave as we do, without any fantasies and mental distortions presented in this program. Dr Phillips would learn that our current human brains are incapable of controlling the very main consciousness they provide and maintain. As a consequence, it is these main consciousnesses, he refers to as conscios (‘commanding override negotiator, selectively controlling input/output’ mental systems maintained by human brains), that are responsible for the rapid approach of our own demise.
    This means that our brain experiment with multiple consiousnesses shall probably be the last of its kind on this planet. And once that’s over, other animals on Earth shall continue to evolve with their simpler consciousness and intelligence, while this universe shall continue to expand (disperse) with its every particle being intelligence but not consciousness.
    I wish I had the hours to give Senchenko’s explanations to all the presumptions made by all the eminent physicists, such as:

    “Modern astrophysicists, like LA’s Sean Carroll, now know that our entire world was once packed into a space smaller than a grape.”

    Dr Sean Carroll
    “And the amazing thing is we’re talking about not only was the whole Earth squeezed into that size, but 100 billion stars in our galaxy and 100 billion galaxies were all squeezed into a little region of space that big.”

    Professor Lawrence Krauss
    “So it’s hard to imagine, with a straight face that we can talk about everything being contained in a region that small, but we can.”

    And refute the silliness of others:

    Dr Sean Carroll
    “It’s true. Aliens could have created our universe.”

    Professor Brian Greene
    “Yeah, there’s a real possibility that we are living inside some elaborate computer simulation that perhaps some futuristic kid has set up in his garage.”

    Instead of grasping at straws, as physicists seem to do, Senchenko provides realistic explanation of everything, including the two systems by which all of our universe functions, something that all the astronomers are oblivious, despite constantly looking at vacuum space and its content. Indeed, to read this book is to understand all that humans had either ignored or had misconstrued.
    If anyone doubts my acceptance of Senchenko’s explanations, they should examine them first and then show me where he’s wrong. As I see it, his explanations are sound and rational, unlike the fiction presented as feasible fact in this particular episode.

  16. The end of the universe: read what Ildefonse has to say about “Nothing” in “Morreion” by Jack Vance.

  17. Fred says:

    “Article at the End of the Universe”

    Hardcover copy at the local library with the barcode partially obscuring the title. It caught my eye and I checked it out. Sorry, no royalties this time!

  18. Greg says:

    love this book! thank you and others so much for making it possible 🙂