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What Shape Is Space? (The Big Idea)

A primer for the 21st century

Giles Sparrow, Matthew Taylor


Part of Thames & Hudson’s innovative new ‘Big Idea’ series, this well-informed and lucid book takes a comprehensive look at the incredible ideas and possibilities born from the simple question, ‘What shape is space?’

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Also available as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon


If the edge of the observable Universe is not the edge of everything, where does it end? If we were to stand on the edge of our observable Universe, would we see another stretching before us? If the Universe is infinite, what kind of infinite do we mean? Does it consist of myriad bubble universes, each containing its own infinite universe? Or is it an evolving series of parallel universes or multiverses?

Discover answers to all these questions and more in this lucid, revelatory and innovative volume.

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'A kind of choose-your-own-adventure using fonts: paragraphs are set in type of differing sizes depending on their importance'
The Bookseller

'Engaging … there is a great deal to recommend about Sparrow’s book for those wanting an approachable primer to this hugely complex question'
BBC Sky at Night

'An invaluable resource … The explanations are clear, inspiring and memorable, and the information laid out in an easy-to-follow narrative. Definitely recommended'
SF2 Concatenation

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 22.9 x 15.2 cm

Extent: 144 pp

Publication date: 6 September 2018

ISBN: 9780500293669

Contents List

Introduction: Does Space Have a Shape? • 1. Mapping Space • 2. The Expanding Universe • 3. The Omega Factor • 4. The Shape of the Multiverse • Conclusion: Life, the Multiverse and Everything

About the Author

Giles Sparrow is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and author of many books, including the bestselling Cosmos and Mars: A New View of the Red Planet.

Matthew Taylor is Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation. Prior to that he was for 15 years Chief Executive of the RSA, a 250-year-old British institution devoted to enriching society through ideas and action to deliver a 21st-century enlightenment. A writer, public speaker and broadcaster, he has written numerous articles on policy, politics, public service reform and cultural theory, and frequently appears on Newsnight, The Daily Politics, and Radio 4’s Today and The Moral Maze. He was previously General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Institute for Public Policy Research, Britain’s leading think tank.

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