From Eternity to Here
I've written a popular-level book about cosmology and the arrow of time -- From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time, published in January 2010. It's listed on amazon.com. So what are you waiting for?
Like all contemporary deep thinkers, I've taken up blogging as a way to share my free-ranging wisdom with the breathlessly waiting world. Since July 2005 I've been a member of the group blog Cosmic Variance; before that, starting in February 2004, I had been blogging solo at Preposterous Universe. I've collected some of my favorite blog posts here:
General Relativity Notes
The most useful thing here would be the Lecture Notes on General Relativity. These are the record of a graduate course I taught in 1996, Physics 8.962 at MIT. If you are impatient and want the condensed version, here is a tiny introduction to general relativity (24 pages, postscript; also available as pdf). If on the other hand you are more ambitious and want a revised and expanded version, you can buy the textbook, Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity, published by Addison-Wesley.
I've inflicted my opinions about the cosmology, dark energy, and the preposterous universe on an unsuspecting public in a variety of venues.
- Popular-level article for Sky and Telescope: Dark Energy and the Preposterous Universe (pdf).
- Introductory Cosmology Lectures at TASI summer schools. The 1999 version was nominally aimed at string theorists, but should be okay for grad students of all stripes; for the 2002 version I joined forces with Mark Trodden.
- Medium-sized survey of ideas on "Why is the Universe Accelerating?" (arxiv).
- Medium-sized opinionated review of dark energy candidates for the SNAP (SuperNova Acceleration Probe) Yellow Book (arxiv, html).
- Extended review article (2000) for Living Reviews in Relativity (Living Reviews site, alternative html).
- Short update (2000) on the observational situation for Matters of Gravity (html, postscript).
- Brief article (1999) for the Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics (html, postscript).
- Extended review (1992), with Bill Press and Ed Turner, for Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics (pdf, html).
On the off chance that there is an interesting topic that I haven't written a review about, I keep a page of interesting reviews by other people.
But I can't be confined to just reviewing stuff. Here are some other scribblings:
- My take on the Y2K Cosmic Microwave Background anisotropy measurements (html, postscript, pdf), also for Matters of Gravity.
- A talk on cosmology and atheism, delivered at a conference on God and Physical Cosmology.
- Book review (for Physics Today) of Richard Gott's Time Travel in Einstein's Universe.
- Book review (for Nature) of Robert Kirshner's The Extravagant Universe (pdf).
- News and Views (Nature again) on results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (pdf).
- News and Views (Nature) on constraining violations of Lorentz invariance from quantum gravity using synchrotron radiation from the Crab nebula (pdf).
- Book Review (Nature) of Michael Lemonick's Echo of the Big Bang (pdf).
- Time Before Time, a brief piece for Seed about the proposal by me and Jennie Chen on how to explain the arrow of time via spontaneous inflation.
- Is Our Universe Natural?, a short essay for Nature on fine-tunings and the multiverse.
- Insignificance (pdf), another short piece for Nature, this time on the implications of dark matter and dark energy.
- From Experience to Metaphor, by Way of Imagination, a talk on the use of science in literature and drama. Originally given at a conference on Theoretical Physics in Drama and Narrative at the KITP in Santa Barbara.
- The Cosmic Origins of Time's Arrow, a popular-level article for Scientific American on cosmology and the arrow of time.