The Universe

A Biography


This book is not yet published, but will be available from May 2022.

ISBN: 9780500024645 Category:

Paul Murdin


The story of our Universe, from its beginning in the first milliseconds of the Big Bang right up to our present moment and beyond, told in a gripping narrative.

Everyone knows astronomers use telescopes to peer into distant space. They also use them as a time machine to look back into the past. In this brilliant and original book, Paul Murdin lays out the entire history of the Universe backwards along a line of sight through space, from here on Earth into the distance, leading us step by step through the deep history of time and space.

We live in a golden age of science writing, where weighty subjects such as quantum physics and genetics are routinely rendered intelligible to mass audiences. Our knowledge of the Universe has been greatly advanced through cutting-edge scientific research, as well as a new age of space exploration and discovery. Murdin draws on his huge experience in the field of explaining such difficult concepts as black holes, nebulas and dark matter to describe the most important characters and events in the history of our Universe: the most powerful explosions, the largest planets, galaxies and the celestial bodies most relevant to our story. Everyone can see that it is dark at night, but not all know that this proves that the universe had a beginning. Or that two-thirds of the atoms in your body are hydrogen atoms formed in the first few minutes of the Big Bang: you are a by-product of the manufacture of galaxies and stars. Murdin ends by offering a glimpse into future of our Universe and what it means to us all.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 15.3 x 23.4 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 17 May 2022
Number of pages 304
Format Hardback
Dimensions 15.3 x 23.4 cm
Weight 300 g


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Paul Murdin is Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy. Since 1963 he has been a research scientist (studying supernovae, black holes and neutron stars), an observatory administrator and a science policy maker for the government and the Royal Astronomical Society in the UK. In a parallel career he is a broadcaster and commentator for the BBC and CNN and is identified as the co-discoverer of the first stellar black hole found in our Galaxy, Cygnus X-1.