The gifted young cosmologist Janna Levin sets out to determine the size of the universe, along the way providing an intimate look at the day-to-day life of a globe-trotting physicist. Nimbly synthesizing geometry, topology, chaos and string theories, Levin shows how the pattern of hot and cold spots left over from the big bang may one day reveal the size and shape of the cosmos. She does so with such originality, lucidity, and even poetry, that How the Universe Got Its Spots becomes a thrilling and deeply personal communication between a scientist and the lay reader.
“[Levin] covers…fascinating ground…She writes passages that may make you either feel claustrophobic for only living in three visible dimensions or see the night sky in an entirely new way.”—Baltimore City Paper
Janna Levin is a professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University. She lives in New York City.