Breaking the old speed limit posted by one Albert Einstein in his 20s, this book deploys a racy and provocative text to convey its popularized content of a new cosmology. Jocular, ironic, witty, self-centered, even indignant, Magueijo is all too ready to castigate his adversaries, those comfortable gatekeepers of learning. The author is no aspiring youth but a tenured professor of theoretical physics, age 35. In spite of his own stature within learned gates--University of Lisbon, then Cambridge on a prime fellowship, now enjoying tenure at great Imperial College in London--his voice is embittered. This journey of youthful success is recalled in complaint about the idiots, the sexually deficient, the money wasters. The thin volume is studded with familiar four-letter words, invoked with rude claims about the motives of colleagues, shadowy referees, editors and others encountered.
Our current scenario for cosmology clearly opened its second act among the high simplicities of the 1970s with two visible puzzles. Why is 3-D cosmic space accurately flat (like old Euclid's own), although it lies within Einstein's universal 4-D curved spacetime? Why is its content so uniform on large scale?
This article was originally published with the title Was Light Faster in the Past?.