Darling and Schulze-Makuch line up nine disasters that could spell the end of humanity – but this is no ordinary doomsday checklist.
The authors take us through today’s cutting-edge science that could end in tomorrow’s melt down – from nanobots to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), superviruses, renegade artificial intelligence, alien invasion and even being fried by our own Sun – explaining the science and rating the likelihood of each catastrophe with a panic button.
If you’re after a broad-picture analysis as well as the nitty-gritty details of the end of life as we know it, this book is for you. The chapter “Physics gone wrong” includes not just a blow-by-blow account of how the LHC works, but also an explanation of subatomic particles and a rundown of a bizarre theory called the quantum Zeno effect, which suggests that just by measuring the universe physicists are bringing our destruction closer. Yes, you’ll feel your brain growing as you read.
But the authors aren’t above including a little April Fool’s joke about a man in too much tweed, claiming to be from the future and trying to shut down the LHC before it destroys the universe. Touché, gentlemen. It’s not all doom and gloom.