Cover image for Patterns in the void : why nothing is important
Patterns in the void : why nothing is important
Odenwald, Sten F.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xvii, 270 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QC6 .O35 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Patterns in the Void examines the great dark matter and dark regions that pervade the universe, from elementary particles to the immense areas of "vacuum" that make up most of deep space, and everything that is - or is not. Like the void itself, the book ranges in temporal and spatial scales - from our human world, down to the molecular and subatomic world, and up into the farthest reaches of the expanding universe. Building upon the great theories that broke through physics and biophysics in the twentieth century, Patterns in the Void weaves the human element into understanding modern science, telling stories of ancient sacrifices, paranormal experiences, purported alien abductions, and more - all part of the human dilemma to make sense about the vast unknown.

Author Notes

Sten Odenwald an award-winning astronomer with Raytheon ITSS, is currently the education and public outreach manager for the NASA IMAGE satellite program. The author of The Astronomy Cafe and The 23rd Cycle , Sten Odenwald writes a regular on-line question-and-answer column called "Ask the Space Scientist" for the Washington Post , and is a frequent contributor Sky and Telescope and Astronomy magazines. He is the recipient of the 1999 Goddard Space Flight Center Excellence in Outreach Award and the Popular Writing Award from the American Astronomical Society, Solar Physics Division. He lives in Kensington, MD.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Astronomer Odenwald presents his personal thoughts about the forefronts of cosmology and particle physics in a quest to understand the void, i.e., what the classical thinker calls the vacuum. The reader will experience a wonderful, deep, and exciting journey into many of the critical issues about the universe. Quantum mechanics and advances in astrophysics and superstrings are key elements needed to explain recent experimental measurements as the author contemplates the dominant influences of the void everywhere. Many important issues are speculative in this strange proposed world of new physics. Sometimes the report is incomplete, such as emphasizing the Higgs field permeating all space, when several other mechanisms can give mass to fundamental particles also. But overall, this strong personal voice gets the science correct, as Odenwald's own personal consciousness and psychology are revealed. The useful index, a dozen pictures, a brief glossary, and a general bibliography nicely supplement the journey. All levels. F. Potter formerly, University of California, Irvine