May 23 1984
The great critical and popular acclaim that greeted the original French edition of Atoms of Silence has already established astrophysicist Hubert Reeves as heir to the grand tradition of popular scientific exposition.
In this eloquent and informative book he first explores the implications of the discovery that the universe has a history – that the night sky that so excites our wonder is not static but in fact had a beginning and will have an ending. He then uncovers the layers of evolution that comprise that history, from the initial “cosmic” phase in the first few moments of the universe when energy transformed itself into matter, to the “biological” phase when matter transformed itself into life. And finally, he goes behind the scenes of the universal drama to examine such basic supporting concepts as time, energy, and chance.
Reeves uses music as a metaphor for all of the orderliness in the universe that might just as easily have been cosmic “noise” if there had been no guiding principles at work. His goal in this poetic work is to help readers achieve an understanding of those principles, and of the music that they produce.
Hubert Reeves was born in Montréal and educated in Canada and the United States. Since 1996 he has been Director of Research of France’s National Center for Scientific Research while continuing his own work at the Center for Nuclear Studies at Saclay.