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The infinite element method is the most powerful general-purpose technique for computing accurate solutions to partial differential equations. Understanding and Implementing the Finite Element Method is essential reading for those interested in understanding both the theory and the implementation of the finite element method for equilibrium problems. This book contains a thorough derivation of the finite element equations as well as sections on programming the necessary calculations, solving the finite element equations, and using a posteriori error estimates to produce validated solutions. Accessible introductions to advanced topics, such as multigrid solvers, the hierarchical basis conjugate gradient method, and adaptive mesh generation, are provided. Each chapter ends with exercises to help readers master these topics.

Barron's popular "Painless Series " of study guides for middle school and high school students offer a lighthearted, often humorous approach to their subjects, transforming details that might once have seemed boring or difficult into a series of interesting and mentally challenging ideas. Most titles in the series feature many fun-to-solve "Brain Tickler" problems with answers at the end of each chapter.

If you are absolutely confused by absolute value equations, or you think parabolas are short moral stories, College Algebra DeMYSTiFied, Second Edition is your solution to mastering the topic's concepts and theories at your own pace. This thoroughly revised and updated guide eases you into the subject, beginning with the math fundamentals then introducing you to this advanced form of algebra. As you progress, you will learn how to simplify rational expressions, divide complex numbers, and solve quadratic equations. You will understand the difference between odd and even functions and no longer be confused by the multiplicity of zeros. Detailed examples make it easy to understand the material, and end-of-chapter quizzes and a final exam help reinforce key ideas.

It's a no-brainer! You'll learn about:

The x-y coordinate plane Lines and intercepts The FOIL method Functions Nonlinear equations Graphs of functions Exponents and logarithmsSimple enough for a beginner, but challenging enough for an advanced student, College Algebra DeMYSTiFieD, Second Edition is your shortcut to a working knowledge of this engaging subject.

Alpha Teach Yourself Algebra I in 24 Hours provides readers with a structured, self-paced, straight-forward tutorial on algebra. It's the perfect textbook companion for students struggling with algebra, a solid primer for those looking to get a head start on an upcoming class, and a welcome refresher for parents tasked with helping out with homework. The book provides 24 one-hour lessons, with each chapter designed to build on the previous one.

? Covers classifying number sets, expressions, polynomials, factoring, radicals, exponents and logarithms, and much more

? Each chapter ends with a quiz so readers can identify where they may need more help

The Future of the Mind brings a topic that once belonged solely to the province of science fiction into a startling new reality. This scientific tour de force unveils the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world—all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics—including recent experiments in telepathy, mind control, avatars, telekinesis, and recording memories and dreams. The Future of the Mind is an extraordinary, mind-boggling exploration of the frontiers of neuroscience. Dr. Kaku looks toward the day when we may achieve the ability to upload the human brain to a computer, neuron for neuron; project thoughts and emotions around the world on a brain-net; take a “smart pill” to enhance cognition; send our consciousness across the universe; and push the very limits of immortality.

Linear Sentences in One Variable

Segments, Lines, and Inequalities

Linear Sentences in Two Variables

Linear Equations in Three Variables

Polynomial Arithmetic

Factoring Polynomials

Rational Expressions

Relations and Functions

Polynomial Functions

Radicals and Complex Numbers

Quadratics in One Variable

Conic Sections

Quadratic Systems

Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

Sequences and Series

Additional Topics

Word Problems

Review Questions

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Glossary

Written by two pioneers of the concept of math anxiety and how to overcome it, Arithmetic and Algebra Again has helped tens of thousands of people conquer their irrational fear of math.

This revised and expanded second edition of the perennial bestseller:

Features the latest techniques for breaking through common anxieties about numbers Takes a real-world approach that lets mathphobes learn the math they need as they need it Covers all key math areas--from whole numbers and fractions to basic algebra Features a section on practical math for banking, mortgages, interest, and statistics and probability Includes a new section on the graphing calculator, a chapter on the metric system, a section on word problems, and all updated exercisesTrying to tackle algebra but nothing's adding up? No problem! Factor in Algebra Demystified, Second Edition and multiply your chances of learning this important branch of mathematics.

Written in a step-by-step format, this practical guide covers fractions, variables, decimals, negative numbers, exponents, roots, and factoring. Techniques for solving linear and quadratic equations and applications are discussed in detail. Clear examples, concise explanations, and worked problems with complete solutions make it easy to understand the material, and end-of-chapter quizzes and a final exam help reinforce learning.

It's a no-brainer! You'll learn how to:

Translate English sentences into mathematical symbols Write the negative of numbers and variables Factor expressions Use the distributive property to expand expressions Solve applied problemsSimple enough for a beginner, but challenging enough for an advanced student, Algebra Demystified, Second Edition helps you master this essential math subject. It's also the perfect resource for preparing you for higher level math classes and college placement tests.

This popular study guide shows students easy ways to solve what they struggle with most in algebra: word problems. How to Solve Word Problems in Algebra, Second Edition, is ideal for anyone who wants to master these skills. Completely updated, with contemporary language and examples, features solution methods that are easy to learn and remember, plus a self-test.

Space and time form the very fabric of the cosmos. Yet they remain among the most mysterious of concepts. Is space an entity? Why does time have a direction? Could the universe exist without space and time? Can we travel to the past? Greene has set himself a daunting task: to explain non-intuitive, mathematical concepts like String Theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and Inflationary Cosmology with analogies drawn from common experience. From Newton’s unchanging realm in which space and time are absolute, to Einstein’s fluid conception of spacetime, to quantum mechanics’ entangled arena where vastly distant objects can instantaneously coordinate their behavior, Greene takes us all, regardless of our scientific backgrounds, on an irresistible and revelatory journey to the new layers of reality that modern physics has discovered lying just beneath the surface of our everyday world.

The Essentials For Dummies Series

Dummies is proud to present our new series, The Essentials For Dummies. Now students who are prepping for exams, preparing to study new material, or who just need a refresher can have a concise, easy-to-understand review guide that covers an entire course by concentrating solely on the most important concepts. From algebra and chemistry to grammar and Spanish, our expert authors focus on the skills students most need to succeed in a subject.

“Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing?”

One of the few prominent scientists today to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With a new preface about the significance of the discovery of the Higgs particle, A Universe from Nothing uses Krauss’s characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations to take us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end.

Provocative, challenging, and delightfully readable, this is a game-changing look at the most basic underpinning of existence and a powerful antidote to outmoded philosophical, religious, and scientific thinking.

With eight books and more than 30 years of hard-core classroom experience, Bob Miller is the frustrated student's best friend. He breaks down the complexities of every problem into easy-to-understand pieces that any math-phobe can understand-and this fully updated second edition of Bob Miller's Algebra for the Clueless covers everything a you need to know to excel in Algebra I and II.

The third edition contains major improvements and revisions throughout the book. More than 300 new exercises have been added since the previous edition. Many new examples have been added to illustrate the key ideas of linear algebra. New topics covered in the book include product spaces, quotient spaces, and dual spaces. Beautiful new formatting creates pages with an unusually pleasant appearance in both print and electronic versions.

No prerequisites are assumed other than the usual demand for suitable mathematical maturity. Thus the text starts by discussing vector spaces, linear independence, span, basis, and dimension. The book then deals with linear maps, eigenvalues, and eigenvectors. Inner-product spaces are introduced, leading to the finite-dimensional spectral theorem and its consequences. Generalized eigenvectors are then used to provide insight into the structure of a linear operator.

Fortunately for you, there's Schaum's.

More than 40 million students have trusted Schaum's to help them succeed in the classroom and on exams. Schaum's is the key to faster learning and higher grades in every subject. Each Outline presents all the essential course information in an easy-to-follow, topic-by-topic format. You also get hundreds of examples, solved problems, and practice exercises to test your skills.

This Schaum's Outline gives you

885 fully solved problems Complete review of all course fundamentalsFully compatible with your classroom text, Schaum's highlights all the important facts you need to know. Use Schaum's to shorten your study time--and get your best test scores!

Topics include: Fundamental Concepts; Polynomials; Rational Expressions; First-Degree Equations and Inequalities; Exponents, Roots, and Radicals; Second-Degree Equations and Inequalities; Systems of Equations and Inequalities; Relations and Functions; Exponential and Logarithmic Functions; and Sequences, Series, and the Binomial Theorem

Schaum's Outlines--Problem Solved.

Practice Makes Perfect: Algebra II presents thorough coverage of skills, such as handling decimals and fractions, functions, and linear and quadratic equations, as well as an introducing you to probability and trigonometry. Inside you will find the help you need for boosting your skills, preparing for an exam or re-introducing yourself to the subject. More than 500 exercises and answers covering all aspects of algebra will get you on your way to mastering algebra!

-- A natural transition from basic math to algebra, with a review of relevant concepts and operations.

-- An introduction to linear equations and functions, including graphing and inequalities.

-- Explanations of how to solve absolute-value equations and radical equations.

-- Instructions on how to perform operations on polynomials, and factoring.

-- An exploration of how to work with quadratic equations and quadratic functions; and rational expressions, equations, and functions.

-- Special sidebars pointing out the reasoning behind the techniques, which is an essential part of Common Core instruction.

-- Separate workbook section of extra Algebra practice problems-like getting two books in one!

Ready to learn math fundamentals but can't seem to get your brain to function? No problem! Add Pre-Algebra Demystified, Second Edition, to the equation and you'll solve your dilemma in no time.

Written in a step-by-step format, this practical guide begins by covering whole numbers, integers, fractions, decimals, and percents. You'll move on to expressions, equations, measurement, and graphing. Operations with monomials and polynomials are also discussed. Detailed examples, concise explanations, and worked problems make it easy to understand the material, and end-of-chapter quizzes and a final exam help reinforce learning.

It's a no-brainer! You'll learn:

Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, integers, fractions, decimals, and algebraic expressions Techniques for solving equations and problems Measures of length, weight, capacity, and time Methods for plotting points and graphing linesSimple enough for a beginner, but challenging enough for an advanced student, Pre-Algebra Demystified, Second Edition, helps you master this essential mathematics subject. It's also the perfect way to review the topic if all you need is a quick refresh.

Along the way, you'll go beyond solving hundreds of repetitive problems, and actually use what you learn to make real-life decisions. Does it make sense to buy two years of insurance on a car that depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot? Can you really afford an XBox 360 and a new iPhone? Learn how to put algebra to work for you, and nail your class exams along the way.

Your time is way too valuable to waste struggling with new concepts. Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory learning experience, Head First Algebra uses a visually rich format specifically designed to take advantage of the way your brain really works.

Practice makes perfect—and helps deepen your understanding of algebra by solving problems

1,001 Algebra I Practice Problems For Dummies, with free access to online practice problems, takes you beyond the instruction and guidance offered in Algebra I For Dummies, giving you 1,001 opportunities to practice solving problems from the major topics in algebra. You start with some basic operations, move on to algebraic properties, polynomials, and quadratic equations, and finish up with graphing. Every practice question includes not only a solution but a step-by-step explanation. From the book, go online and find:

One year free subscription to all 1,001 practice problems On-the-go access any way you want it—from your computer, smart phone, or tablet Multiple choice questions on all you math course topics Personalized reports that track your progress and help show you where you need to study the most Customized practice sets for self-directed study Practice problems categorized as easy, medium, or hardWhether you're studying algebra at the high school or college level, the practice problems in 1,001 Algebra I Practice Problems For Dummies give you a chance to practice and reinforce the skill s you learn in the classroom and help you refine your understanding of algebra.

Note to readers: 1,001 Algebra I Practice Problems For Dummies, which only includes problems to solve, is a great companion to Algebra I For Dummies, 2nd Edition which offers complete instruction on all topics in a typical Algebra I course.

In the first three chapters the authors briefly review the great explosions that will form the subject matter of the book--namely, supernovae and gamma-ray bursters. They describe the very early universe, after the Big Bang, and then how "the lights came on all over the universe as the very first stars began to shine." The importance of stellar mass in governing not only the lifetime of a star (the most massive stars live relatively short lives) but also the way in which a star ends its days is also explained.

Chapter 4 describes the explosion of certain massive stars, outlining the various stages at the end of these stars' lives, which result in the cataclysmic explosions known as supernovae. In Chapter 5 the authors introduce the more exotic and spectacular forms of stellar explosion known as gamma-ray bursters. Chapter 6 studies the markers used for cosmic surveys and Hubble's contributions to the field. The penultimate chapter looks at the very distant, highly luminous sources known as quasars and the evolution of our universe from the earliest times. The final chapter shows how observations of distant supernovae have revealed that the expansion of the universe is in fact accelerating--one of the most exciting and remarkable discoveries in recent years. It was this discovery that lead to the idea that 70% of the universe is made up of mysterious dark energy.

Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.

Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, thrived on outrageous adventures. Here he recounts in his inimitable voice his experience trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek; cracking the uncrackable safes guarding the most deeply held nuclear secrets; accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums; painting a naked female toreador. In short, here is Feynman's life in all its eccentric—a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, and raging chutzpah.

And if this e-book leaves you wanting even more! more! more! there's The Math Dude's Quick and Dirty Guide to Algebra, with even more math number games, explanations, and—dare we say it—fun.

"The main object of this book is to dispel the fear of mathematics," declares author W. W. Sawyer, adding that "Many people regard mathematicians as a race apart, possessed of almost supernatural powers. While this is very flattering for successful mathematicians, it is very bad for those who, for one reason or another, are attempting to learn the subject." Now retired, Sawyer won international renown for his innovative teaching methods, which he used at colleges in England and Scotland as well as Africa, New Zealand, and North America. His insights into the pleasures and practicalities of mathematics will appeal to readers of all backgrounds.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Key features of Number Theory: Structures, Examples, and Problems:

* A rigorous exposition starts with the natural numbers and the basics.

* Important concepts are presented with an example, which may also emphasize an application. The exposition moves systematically and intuitively to uncover deeper properties.

* Topics include divisibility, unique factorization, modular arithmetic and the Chinese Remainder Theorem, Diophantine equations, quadratic residues, binomial coefficients, Fermat and Mersenne primes and other special numbers, and special sequences. Sections on mathematical induction and the pigeonhole principle, as well as a discussion of other number systems are covered.

* Unique exercises reinforce and motivate the reader, with selected solutions to some of the problems.

* Glossary, bibliography, and comprehensive index round out the text.

Written by distinguished research mathematicians and renowned teachers, this text is a clear, accessible introduction to the subject and a source of fascinating problems and puzzles, from advanced high school students to undergraduates, their instructors, and general readers at all levels.

Whether you're brushing up on pre-Algebra concepts or on your way toward mastering algebraic fractions, factoring, and functions, CliffsQuickReview Algebra I can help. This guide introduces each topic, defines key terms, and carefully walks you through each sample problem step-by-step. In no time, you'll be ready to tackle other concepts in this book such as

Equations, ratios, and proportionInequalities, graphing, and absolute valueCoordinate GeometryRoots and radicalsQuadratic equationsCliffsQuickReview Algebra I acts as a supplement to your textbook and to classroom lectures. Use this reference in any way that fits your personal style for study and review—you decide what works best with your needs. Here are just a few ways you can search for topics:

Use the free Pocket Guide full of essential informationGet a glimpse of what you'll gain from a chapter by reading through the Chapter Check-In at the beginning of each chapterUse the Chapter Checkout at the end of each chapter to gauge your grasp of the important information you need to knowTest your knowledge more completely in the CQR Review and look for additional sources of information in the CQR Resource CenterUse the glossary to find key terms fast.With titles available for all the most popular high school and college courses, CliffsQuickReview guides are a comprehensive resource that can help you get the best possible grades.

The focus throughout is rooted in the mathematical fundamentals, but the text also investigates a number of interesting applications, including a section on computer graphics, a chapter on numerical methods, and many exercises and examples using MATLAB. Meanwhile, many visuals and problems (a complete solutions manual is available to instructors) are included to enhance and reinforce understanding throughout the book.

Brief yet precise and rigorous, this work is an ideal choice for a one-semester course in linear algebra targeted primarily at math or physics majors. It is a valuable tool for any professor who teaches the subject.

The quickest route to learning a subject is through a solid grounding in the basics. So what you won’t find in Easy Algebra Step-by-Step is a lot of endless drills. Instead, you get a clear explanation that breaks down complex concepts into easy-to-understand steps, followed by highly focused exercises that are linked to core skills--enabling learners to grasp when and how to apply those techniques.

This book features: Large step-by-step charts breaking down each step within a process and showing clear connections between topics and annotations to clarify difficulties Stay-in-step panels show how to cope with variations to the core steps Step-it-up exercises link practice to the core steps already presented Missteps and stumbles highlight common errors to avoidYou can master algebra as long as you take it Step-by-Step!

For more than thirty years as a beloved professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lewin honed his singular craft of making physics not only accessible but truly fun, whether putting his head in the path of a wrecking ball, supercharging himself with three hundred thousand volts of electricity, or demonstrating why the sky is blue and why clouds are white. Now, as Carl Sagan did for astronomy and Brian Green did for cosmology, Lewin takes readers on a marvelous journey in For the Love of Physics, opening our eyes as never before to the amazing beauty and power with which physics can reveal the hidden workings of the world all around us. “I introduce people to their own world,” writes Lewin, “the world they live in and are familiar with but don’t approach like a physicist—yet.”

Could it be true that we are shorter standing up than lying down? Why can we snorkel no deeper than about one foot below the surface? Why are the colors of a rainbow always in the same order, and would it be possible to put our hand out and touch one? Whether introducing why the air smells so fresh after a lightning storm, why we briefly lose (and gain) weight when we ride in an elevator, or what the big bang would have sounded like had anyone existed to hear it, Lewin never ceases to surprise and delight with the extraordinary ability of physics to answer even the most elusive questions.

Recounting his own exciting discoveries as a pioneer in the field of X-ray astronomy—arriving at MIT right at the start of an astonishing revolution in astronomy—he also brings to life the power of physics to reach into the vastness of space and unveil exotic uncharted territories, from the marvels of a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud to the unseeable depths of black holes.

“For me,” Lewin writes, “physics is a way of seeing—the spectacular and the mundane, the immense and the minute—as a beautiful, thrillingly interwoven whole.” His wonderfully inventive and vivid ways of introducing us to the revelations of physics impart to us a new appreciation of the remarkable beauty and intricate harmonies of the forces that govern our lives.

Though the book contains advanced material, such as cryptography on elliptic curves, Goppa codes using algebraic curves over finite fields, and the recent AKS polynomial primality test, the authors' objective has been to keep the exposition as self-contained and elementary as possible. Therefore the book will be useful to students and researchers, both in theoretical (e.g. mathematicians) and in applied sciences (e.g. physicists, engineers, computer scientists, etc.) seeking a friendly introduction to the important subjects treated here. The book will also be useful for teachers who intend to give courses on these topics.

Kaku skillfully guides us through the latest innovations in string theory and its latest iteration, M-theory, which posits that our universe may be just one in an endless multiverse, a singular bubble floating in a sea of infinite bubble universes. If M-theory is proven correct, we may perhaps finally find answer to the question, “What happened before the big bang?” This is an exciting and unforgettable introduction into the new cutting-edge theories of physics and cosmology from one of the pre-eminent voices in the field.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Key features of Putnam and Beyond

* Preliminary material provides an overview of common methods of proof: argument by contradiction, mathematical induction, pigeonhole principle, ordered sets, and invariants.

* Each chapter systematically presents a single subject within which problems are clustered in every section according to the specific topic.

* The exposition is driven by more than 1100 problems and examples chosen from numerous sources from around the world; many original contributions come from the authors.

* Complete solutions to all problems are given at the end of the book. The source, author, and historical background are cited whenever possible.

This work may be used as a study guide for the Putnam exam, as a text for many different problem-solving courses, and as a source of problems for standard courses in undergraduate mathematics. Putnam and Beyond is organized for self-study by undergraduate and graduate students, as well as teachers and researchers in the physical sciences who wish to to expand their mathematical horizons.

Every now and then a simple yet radical idea shakes the very foundations of knowledge. The startling discovery that the world was not flat challenged and ultimately changed the way people perceived themselves and their relationship with the world. For most humans of the 15th century, the notion of Earth as ball of rock was nonsense. The whole of Western, natural philosophy is undergoing a sea change again, increasingly being forced upon us by the experimental findings of quantum theory, and at the same time, towards doubt and uncertainty in the physical explanations of the universe’s genesis and structure. Biocentrism completes this shift in worldview, turning the planet upside down again with the revolutionary view that life creates the universe instead of the other way around.

In this paradigm, life is not an accidental byproduct of the laws of physics. Biocentrism takes the reader on a seemingly improbable but ultimately inescapable journey through a foreign universe—our own—from the viewpoints of an acclaimed biologist and a leading astronomer. Switching perspective from physics to biology unlocks the cages in which Western science has unwittingly managed to confine itself. Biocentrism will shatter the reader’s ideas of life—time and space, and even death. At the same time it will release us from the dull worldview of life being merely the activity of an admixture of carbon and a few other elements; it suggests the exhilarating possibility that life is fundamentally immortal.

The 21st century is predicted to be the Century of Biology, a shift from the previous century dominated by physics. It seems fitting, then, to begin the century by turning the universe outside-in and unifying the foundations of science with a simple idea discovered by one of the leading life-scientists of our age. Biocentrism awakens in readers a new sense of possibility, and is full of so many shocking new perspectives that the reader will never see reality the same way again.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

The author collects the main results in the field in this up-to-date, comprehensive reference volume. He highlights significant achievements in the area, and points to research directions and open problems. The book will be of interest to researchers and graduate students in theoretical computer science and mathematics, in particular those working in algebraic combinatorics and combinatorics on words. It will also be of interest to specialists in other branches of mathematics, theoretical physics, and computational biology.

The author collects the main results in the field in this up-to-date, comprehensive reference volume. He highlights significant achievements in the area, and points to research directions and open problems. The book will be of interest to researchers and graduate students in theoretical computer science and mathematics, in particular those working in algebraic combinatorics and combinatorics on words. It will also be of interest to specialists in other branches of mathematics, theoretical physics, and computational biology.

The second part of the book begins with a consideration of various types of matrices encountered in statistics, such as projection matrices and positive definite matrices, and describes the special properties of those matrices. The second part also describes some of the many applications of matrix theory in statistics, including linear models, multivariate analysis, and stochastic processes. The brief coverage in this part illustrates the matrix theory developed in the first part of the book. The first two parts of the book can be used as the text for a course in matrix algebra for statistics students, or as a supplementary text for various courses in linear models or multivariate statistics.

The third part of this book covers numerical linear algebra. It begins with a discussion of the basics of numerical computations, and then describes accurate and efficient algorithms for factoring matrices, solving linear systems of equations, and extracting eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Although the book is not tied to any particular software system, it describes and gives examples of the use of modern computer software for numerical linear algebra. This part is essentially self-contained, although it assumes some ability to program in Fortran or C and/or the ability to use R/S-Plus or Matlab. This part of the book can be used as the text for a course in statistical computing, or as a supplementary text for various courses that emphasize computations.

The book includes a large number of exercises with some solutions provided in an appendix.

There's no better short book that explains just what Einstein did than Einstein's Cosmos. Keying Einstein's crucial discoveries to the simple mental images that inspired them, Michio Kaku finds a revealing new way to discuss his ideas, and delivers an appealing and always accessible introduction to Einstein's work.

“A modern voyage of discovery.” —Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate, author of The Lightness of Being

The Higgs boson is one of our era’s most fascinating scientific frontiers and the key to understanding why mass exists. The most recent book on the subject, The God Particle, was a bestseller. Now, Caltech physicist Sean Carroll documents the doorway that is opening—after billions of dollars and the efforts of thousands of researchers at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland—into the mind-boggling world of dark matter. The Particle at the End of the Universe has it all: money and politics, jealousy and self-sacrifice, history and cutting-edge physics—all grippingly told by a rising star of science writing.

Parallel universes are a staple of science fiction, and it's no wonder. They allow us to explore the question, "what if?" in a way that lets us step completely outside of the world we know, rather than question how that world might have turned out differently. For cosmologists, the question isn't "what if the South won the Civil War?" but "what if the constants that make up the fundamental building blocks of physics were different?" Physicists argue that any slight change to the laws of physics would mean a disruption in the evolution of the universe, and thus our existence. Take gravity, for example: too strong and stars would burn through their fuel far more quickly. If the universe expanded too fast, matter would spread out too thin for galaxies to form. The list of examples goes on – to the point where the laws of physics might seem finely tuned to make our existence possible. Short of a supernatural or divine explanation, one possibility is that our universe isn't the only one. That's the idea explored in this eBook, Possibilities in Parallel: Seeking the Multiverse. In Section 1, we explore why scientists think other universes could exist. After that, we get a look at the implications. Is it possible to have life in a universe with different physical laws? It would seem so. In "Cracking Open a Window," George Musser discusses the possibility that our universe has more than three spatial dimensions – the others happen to be very small. Other articles, including "The Universe's Unseen Dimensions," analyze the idea that our universe is one of many "branes" – three-dimensional structures stretched out over a higher-dimensional space. The concept of a parallel universe also touches time travel, and then there's the question of what the term "parallel universe" actually means. It's a triumph of the sciences that the very question of why the universe looks as it does can be asked at all. There are currently several possibilities for a multiverse, if it exists. Time and a lot of scientific spadework will reveal which one is right – and get us closer to answering those metaphysical questions: what if, why us, why now?