BN.com Gift Guide

The Book of the Cosmos: Imagining the Universe from Heraclitus to Hawking

Overview

What is the cosmos? How did it come into being? How are we related to it, and what is our place in it? The Book of the Cosmos assembles for the first time in one volume the great minds of the Western world who have considered these questions from biblical times to the present. It is a book of many authors-Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Galileo are here, of course, in all their genius, but so are Edgar Allan Poe, Annie Jump Cannon (a "human computer" and lyrical classifier of stars), and Sir Martin Rees, who ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $5.99   
  • New (10) from $6.88   
  • Used (7) from $5.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

What is the cosmos? How did it come into being? How are we related to it, and what is our place in it? The Book of the Cosmos assembles for the first time in one volume the great minds of the Western world who have considered these questions from biblical times to the present. It is a book of many authors-Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Galileo are here, of course, in all their genius, but so are Edgar Allan Poe, Annie Jump Cannon (a "human computer" and lyrical classifier of stars), and Sir Martin Rees, who proposes an "ensemble of universes" of which ours happens to be among the most interesting.In these pages the universe is made and unmade in a variety of configurations; it spins along on superstrings, teems with intelligent life, and could end without warning. The Book of the Cosmos provides a thrilling read to set the heart racing and the mind soaring.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Astronomy
Triumphs with the successful marriage of religious, literary, and scientific prose under a single cover.
Booknews
Danielson (English, U. of British Columbia, Canada) brings together the writings of some 85 philosophers, scientists, poets, and others as they reflect on the nature and science of the cosmos. Beginning with writings from the Torah and the Bible, the work moves through the contributions of such authors as Plato, Plutarch, Ptolemy, Dante, Copernicus, John Calvin, Galileo, John Milton, Isaac Newton, Edgar Allan Poe, Maria Mitchell, and others. The chapters are edited for brevity and contain summarizing asides by the editor. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738204987
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Pages: 592
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis Danielson is Professor of English at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he teaches honors and graduate courses in the literature of cosmology.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xxiii
Introduction: Telescopes for the Mind xxv
Part 1 Cosmological Origins
1 We Have Seen But Few of His Works 2
2 Twice into the Same River? 12
3 The Things of the Universe Are Not Sliced Off with a Hatchet 18
4 Atoms and Empty Space 23
5 The Moving Image of Eternity 31
6 The Potency of Place 37
7 He Supposes the Earth to Revolve 43
8 A Geometrical Argument 46
9 No Erratic or Pointless Movement 50
10 Turning the Universe Upside Down 58
Part 2 Ptolemy, Middle Earth, Middle Ages
11 The Peculiar Nature of the Universe 68
12 The Weaknesses of the Hypotheses 75
13 Their Peculiar Behavior Confounds Mortals' Minds 78
14 We Consider Time a Thing Created 82
15 From This Point Hang the Heavens 89
16 If a Man Were in the Sky and Could See the Earth Clearly 92
17 A Single Universe in Which Each Star Influences Every Other 96
Part 3 Copernicus to Newton
18 Almost Contrary to Common Sense 104
19 The Poetic Structure of the World 118
20 This Art Unfolds the Wisdom of God 122
21 A Star Never Seen Before Our Time 128
22 This Little Dark Star Wherein We Live 132
23 Innumerable Suns, and an Infinite Number of Earths 140
24 Neither Known Nor Observed by Anyone Before 145
25 Galileo and the Geometrization of Astronomical Space 155
26 This Boat Which Is Our Earth 163
27 The Two Books of God Agree With Each Other 173
28 They Hoist the Earth Up and Down Like a Ball 178
29 A World in the Moon 184
30 A Very Liquid Heaven 191
31 The Eternal Silence of These Infinite Spaces 195
32 This Pendent World 198
33 But One Little Family of the Universe 206
34 Into the Celestial Spaces 220
35 Discernible Ends and Final Causes 229
36 The Planetarians, and This Small Speck of Dirt 233
Part 4 Unfurling Newton's Universe
37 A Signal of God 240
38 The Beautiful Pre-established Order 245
39 An Event So Glorious to the Newtonian Doctrine of Gravity 250
40 A Voice from the Starry Heavens 255
41 This Most Surprising Zone of Light 259
42 How Fortunate Is This Globe! 265
43 To Become Adequately Copernican 272
44 Laboratories of the Universe 277
45 As Certain as the Planetary Orbits 285
46 The Intelligence of the Watch-Maker 291
47 Must We Then Reject the Infinitude of the Stars? 294
48 The Great Principle That Governs the Universe 298
49 The Unfailing Connection and Course of Events 302
50 The Primordial Particle 307
51 The Shadow! The Shadow! 312
52 Unraveled Starlight 317
53 Astronomy Still Young 326
Part 5 The Universe Re-Imagined
54 The Peculiar Interest of Mars 334
55 Cosmical Evolution 342
56 Cosmos Without Peer and Without Price 347
57 Curved Space and Poetry of the Universe 350
58 The Man in the Accelerated Chest 356
59 It Is Not True That "All Is Relative" 366
60 Spacetime Tells Matter How to Move 371
61 The Architecture of the Celestial Mansions 380
62 The Quickening Influence of the Universe 385
63 You Have Broken Newton's Back 390
64 The Realm of the Nebulae 394
65 Driven to Admit Anti-Chance 401
66 Did the Expansion Start from the Beginning? 407
67 This Big Bang Idea 411
Part 6 Beginnings and Ends
68 Incomprehensible Magnitude, Unimaginable Darkness 418
69 That All-But-Eternal Crimson Twilight 423
70 The Cosmic Oasis 426
71 The Very Womb of Life 430
72 The Urge to Trace the History of the Universe 433
73 To Transform the Universe on a Cosmological Scale 438
74 The No Boundary Condition 448
75 Prisons of Light 452
76 A Very Lumpy Universe 460
77 A Cosmic Archipelago 464
78 Cosmological Natural Selection 467
79 The Ultimate Free Lunch 482
80 Was There a Big Bang? 488
81 What We Cannot See and Yet Know Must Be There 498
82 Their Extravagant Smallness 506
83 Cosmic Dust-Bunnies 510
84 Mystery at the End of the Universe 516
85 Do the Heavens Declare? 522
Glossary 529
Further Reading 537
Copyright Acknowlegments 539
Index 544
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)