How did the universe begin? Where do galaxies come from? How do stars and planets form? Where do the material particles we are made of come from? How did life begin? Today we have only provisional answers to such questions. But scientific progress will improve these answers dramatically over the next ten years, predicts John Gribbin in this riveting book. He focuses on what we knowor think we knowabout ten controversial, unanswered issues in the physical sciences and explains how current cutting-edge research may yield solutions in the very near future.With his trademark facility for engaging readers with or without a scientific background, the author explores ideas concerning the creation of the universe, the possibility of other forms of life, and the fate of the expanding cosmos. He examines theories of everything, including grand unified theories and string theory, and he discusses the Big Bang theory, the origin of structure and patterns of matter in the galaxies, and dark mass and dark energy. In the final chapter of the book, Gribbin ponders the future of Earth and the Sun and the possibility that the universe might expand forever.