Cover image for Quintessence : the mystery of missing mass in the universe
Quintessence : the mystery of missing mass in the universe
Krauss, Lawrence M., 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxvii, 356 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Rev. ed. of: The fifth essence. c1989.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB791.3 .K74 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Will the universe continue to expand forever, reverse its expansion and begin to contract, or reach a delicately poised state where it simply persists forever? The answer depends on the amount and properties of matter in the universe, and that has given rise to one of the great paradoxes of modern cosmology: there is too little visible matter to account for the behavior we can see. Over ninety percent of the universe consists of "missing mass" or "dark matter" - what Lawrence Krauss, in his classic book, termed "the fifth essence."In this new edition of T he Fifth Essence , retitled Quintessence after the now widely accepted term for dark matter, Krauss shows how the dark matter problem is now connected with two of the hottest areas in recent cosmology: the fate of the universe and the "cosmological constant." With a new introduction, epilogue, and chapter updates, Krauss updates his classic for 1999 and shares one of the most stunning discoveries of recent years: an anti-gravity force that explains recent observations of a permanently expanding universe.

Author Notes

Lawrence Krauss is a theoretical physicist. Krauss is professor of physics, Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration, and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University. He is the only physicist to have received awards from all three major U.S. physics societies: the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics.

Lawrence Krauss received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics from Carleton University and his Ph.D. in physics from MIT. Krauss taught at Yale University and was Chairman of the Physics Department at Case Western Reserve University.

Krauss is the author of several bestselling books, including The Fifth Essence (1991), Fear of Physics (1994), The Physics of Star Trek (1995), Beyond Star Trek (1997), Quintessence (2001), Atom (2002), Hiding in the Mirror (2005), Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science (2010), and A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (2012).

(Bowker Author Biography) Lawrence M. Krauss is the bestselling author of "The Physics of Star Trek", among others. He received his Ph.D. in physics from MIT & now chairs the Department of Physics at Case Western Reserve University.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In this update and expansion of his 1989 book The Fifth Essence (CH, Mar'90), Krauss (Case Western Reserve Univ.) has included all the latest material on dark matter and the missing mass of the universe. One of the most interesting additions is the suggestion that the missing mass may be in an energy associated with empty space. As in his earlier book, all the major candidates for the missing mass are described and discussed. Axions, supersymmetric particles, magnetic monopoles, WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles), and neutrinos are each considered. One of the major differences from the earlier book is that recent experiments are described--in particular, experiments designed to detect WIMPS, axions, and magnetic monopoles. None of these candidates have yet been discovered, but Krauss is optimistic. He is well qualified to write such a book, as he is active in the field. Appendixes; short section of notes. Overall, the book is up-to-date, well written, covers the field thoroughly, and is enjoyable to read. It should be in the library of anyone seriously interested in cosmology. General readers; undergraduates through faculty. B. R. Parker; Idaho State University

Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised Editionp. XVII
Preface: A New Copernican Revolution?p. XXI
Part I The Stuff of Matter
Chapter 1 Making Something Out of Nothingp. 3
Chapter 2 Filling the Voidp. 23
Part II Weighing the Universe ... and Coming Up Short
Chapter 3 First Light on the Darknessp. 45
Chapter 4 Beyond Our Island in the Nightp. 71
Part III Why the Universe is Flat: the Big Bang, Large-Scale Structure, and the Need for Something New
Chapter 5 Cooking with Gasp. 113
Chapter 6 The Tip of the Icebergp. 138
Part IV The Neutrino Saga and the Birth of Cold Dark Matter
Chapter 7 The Obvious Choice?p. 171
Chapter 8 Cold Gets Hotp. 197
Chapter 9 Cold, Colder, Coldest The New Improved Standard Modelp. 222
Part V The Candidates
Chapter 10 All Roads Lead to Dark Matterp. 233
Chapter 11 Three Modest Proposalsp. 266
Part VI Desperately Seeking Dark Matter
Chapter 12 The Music of the Spheres?p. 285
Chapter 13 Of Thermometers and Radiosp. 301
Chapter 14 Searching for Nothing?p. 332
Epilogue: The Best of Times?p. 337
Appendix A Orders of Magnitude and the Scale of the Universep. 339
Appendix B A Really Brief History of Timep. 342
Notesp. 346
Indexp. 348