Horizons of Cosmology

Overview

Horizons of Cosmology: Exploring Worlds Seen and Unseen is the fourth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, highly esteemed astrophysicist Joseph Silk explores the vast mysteries and speculations of the field of cosmology in a way that balances an accessible style for the general reader and enough technical detail for advanced students and...
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Horizons of Cosmology

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Overview

Horizons of Cosmology: Exploring Worlds Seen and Unseen is the fourth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, highly esteemed astrophysicist Joseph Silk explores the vast mysteries and speculations of the field of cosmology in a way that balances an accessible style for the general reader and enough technical detail for advanced students and professionals. Indeed, while the physical laws and origins of the universe can be endlessly complex, even Einstein once mused that they could be explained simply enough to be grasped by nonspecialists. To that end Silk begins by introducing the basic story of the major discoveries in cosmology over the past century—wherein we learned that we live in an expanding universe populated with galaxies and stars. The middle chapters examine a number of contemporary puzzles such as dark matter and dark energy. The last third of the book looks at the human side of cosmology and moves to the more philosophical frontiers of the field, such as concepts of multiverses and time travel—areas of exploration where some crossover into speculative territory becomes unavoidable. In the past century alone, our understanding of the universe has expanded exponentially, and it will be fascinating to see what discoveries the next hundred years hold. Few books will provide such a thorough understanding of where we have been and what might lie ahead as Horizons of Cosmology.
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Meet the Author

Joseph Silk is a professor at Oxford University. He has written six popular books on cosmology, including The Big Bang, A Short History of the Universe, and The Infinite Cosmos. His research specialties include dark matter, the formation of the galaxies and the big bang theory. He previously taught at the University of California at Berkeley. He has received numerous awards, including the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and honorary degrees from the University of Rome and the Ecole National Superieur of Lyon. He is an honorary member of the French Physical Society and is a fellow of the Royal Society, the Institute of Physics, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society.
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Table of Contents

Preface: A Wondrous Place ix

Chapter 1 Cosmology Begins 3

Chapter 2 Case for the Big Bang 16

Chapter 3 Inflation Explained 38

Chapter 4 How Stars Form 52

Chapter 5 The Darkest Matters 63

Chapter 6 Cosmic Archaeology 74

Chapter 7 Detecting Dark Matter 102

Chapter 8 Finding Dark Energy 118

Chapter 9 Eminent Missteps in Cosmology 132

Chapter 10 The Universe in Seven Numbers 149

Chapter 11 Our Place in the Universe 160

Chapter 12 Cosmology's Future 178

Glossary 187

Bibliography 193

Index 197

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