As the former head of Fourth Estate books, Christopher Potter published blockbuster science titles like Dava Sobel’s Longitude. For his own, elegant debut, Potter set out to write a history of the universe. And if that project sounds ambitious to you, imagine pulling it off in less than 300 pages.
Like the Powers of Ten postcard books you sometimes find in museum gift shops, Potter’s book, You Are Here, begins with impossibly small things (like quarks and electrons), ends with incomprehensibly large ones (stars, galaxies, and the universe itself), and considers string theory, general relativity, and the paradoxes of quantum mechanics along the way. Potter has a knack for rattling off the latest scientific facts without eliding the deeper questions they raise, and he ends up with the mother of them all: Why is there something rather than nothing? That, Potter admits, is a cosmic mystery that science may never solve.
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