How Old Is the Universe?

How Old Is the Universe?

5.0 1
by David A. Weintraub
     
 

"Weintraub retraces the spectacular journey in which astronomers learned the size and age of the universe. Along the way, he provides lucid explanations and ingenious analogies, such as his use of musical chairs to explain degenerate states of matter in white dwarf stars. A splendid merger of science history and cutting-edge astronomy."--Owen Gingerich, author of

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Overview

"Weintraub retraces the spectacular journey in which astronomers learned the size and age of the universe. Along the way, he provides lucid explanations and ingenious analogies, such as his use of musical chairs to explain degenerate states of matter in white dwarf stars. A splendid merger of science history and cutting-edge astronomy."--Owen Gingerich, author of God's Universe

"How old is the universe? Centuries of speculation and research have culminated in a precise answer to this fundamental question. Weintraub presents the story of this major triumph of astronomy in a masterful style, rich with authoritative details and everyday analogies, illustrating along the way the full panorama of the astronomical work that led to this amazing feat."--Alan Boss, author of The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets

"This is an outstanding concept for a book. By focusing on the fascinating question of the age of the universe, Weintraub ties together much of modern astrophysics in an interesting and compelling way. This is a book for general readers, but it also makes an excellent supplemental book for any college-level general astronomy course for nonscientists."--Charles Bailyn, Yale University

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691147314
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/15/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction: 13.7 Billion Years 1

PART I. The Age of Objects in Our Solar System

Chapter 2 4004 bce 9

Chapter 3 Moon Rocks and Meteorites 16

Chapter 4 Defying Gravity 27

PART II. The Ages of the Oldest Stars

Chapter 5 Stepping Out 43

Chapter 6 Distances and Light 55

Chapter 7 All Stars Are Not the Same 61

Chapter 8 Giant and Dwarf Stars 78

Chapter 9 Reading a Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) Diagram 94

Chapter 10 Mass 101

Chapter 11 Star Clusters 111

Chapter 12 Mass Matters 126

Chapter 13 White Dwarfs and the Age of the Universe 133

Chapter 14 Ages of Globular Clusters and the Age of the Universe 159

PART III. The Age of the Universe

Chapter 15 Cepheids 175

Chapter 16 An Irregular System of Globular Clusters 191

Chapter 17 The Milky Way Demoted 202

Chapter 18 The Trouble with Gravity 209

Chapter 19 The Expanding Universe 217

Chapter 20 The Hubble Age of the Universe 235

Chapter 21 The Accelerating Universe 245

Chapter 22 Dark Matter 261

Chapter 23 Exotic Dark Matter 282

Chapter 24 Hot Stuff 301

Chapter 25 Two Kinds of Trouble 319

Chapter 26 The WMAP Map of the CMB and the Age of the Universe 333

Chapter 27 A Consistent Answer 360

Index 365

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