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Brave New Universe: Illuminating the Darkest Secrets of the Cosmos

Overview

Cosmologists yearn to behold the unseen elements of our universe. And as new technologies become more powerful and precise, scientists are getting their wish—though these tools are challenging the limits of our imagination as fast as they are answering many longstanding questions. Space is one of the last great frontiers for modern man. A never-ending source of investigation and inspiration, it beckons to scientists with an irresistible siren’s call. And in this glorious age of cosmology, astronomical measurement...
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Overview

Cosmologists yearn to behold the unseen elements of our universe. And as new technologies become more powerful and precise, scientists are getting their wish—though these tools are challenging the limits of our imagination as fast as they are answering many longstanding questions. Space is one of the last great frontiers for modern man. A never-ending source of investigation and inspiration, it beckons to scientists with an irresistible siren’s call. And in this glorious age of cosmology, astronomical measurement has never been more precise. The power provided to us by extraordinary new observational mechanisms has shattered former suppositions and stimulated exciting new visions of the universe. Using modern instruments such as the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), astronomers now have access to information about the age and composition of the universe. By providing greatly improved answers, high-resolution satellite data and novel telescopic techniques have transformed one of science’s most speculative fields into a triumph of meticulous and rigorous detection. Yet as the technological tools grow increasingly robust and we are able to see farther and know more, we find that we have even more questions. Could there be realms beyond ordinary space? Might time, space, and matter simply be illusions? What unique blend of cosmological factors influences life on Earth? Featuring interviews with leaders in the field as well as thought-provoking descriptions of their work, Brave New Universe is a guided tour of current advances and controversies in cosmology.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Halpern (mathematics & physics, Univ. of the Sciences, Philadelphia) and Wesson (physics, Univ. of Waterloo, Ontario) lead us on a poetic journey through the universe's guiding principles by weaving together historical and contemporary cosmological developments. The authors' infectious passion for cosmology is evident throughout, and they use beautifully crafted analogies to explain the concepts of relativity, quantum mechanics, extra dimensions, string theory, and dark energy, writing in an easy-to-understand manner that will ignite general readers' interest. Although the brief text lacks a clear and logical structure within which the science is outlined, the text is still accessible. Complementary rather than redundant to other popular cosmology books, this title is well suited for all public libraries, as well as academic libraries that collect in popular science. (Index not seen.) Joseph H. Murphy, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa Lib., Honolulu Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780309101370
  • Publisher: National Academies Press
  • Publication date: 7/27/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 698,909
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : the quest for cosmic understanding 1
1 To see the world in a grain of sand : what we can observe from Earth 7
2 Infinity in the palm of your hand : Einstein's far-reaching vision 27
3 Eternity in an hour : the accelerating universe 75
4 Darkness apparent : the hidden stuff of the cosmos 121
5 Ever-changing moods : did nature's constants evolve? 147
6 Escape clause : circumventing the big bang singularity 173
7 What is real? 195
Conclusion : the spirit of Eddington 215
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