The Origin of the Universe
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|Format:||Paperback / softback, 532 pages|
|Other Information: ||Illustrated|
|Published In: ||United States, 01 November 2005|
This brief history of the beginning of the universe comes from the bestselling author of "Fermat's Enigma" and "The Code Book." Black-and-white photos and illustrations.
The best-selling author of Fermat's Enigma, a former BBC producer with a Ph.D. in physics, goes back to the beginning. With a seven-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
It was cosmologist Fred Hoyle who coined the term "big bang" to describe the notion that the universe exploded out of nothing to kick-start space and time. Ironically, Hoyle himself espoused the steady state theory, positing that the universe is eternal and never really changes. Former BBC producer and science writer Singh (Fermat's Enigma) recounts in his inimitable down-to-earth style how the big bang theory triumphed. Readers will find here one of the best explanations available of how Cepheid stars are used to estimate the distance of other galaxies. Singh highlights some of the lesser-known figures in the development of the big bang theory, like Henrietta Leavitt, a volunteer "computer" at the Harvard College Observatory who in 1912 discovered how Cepheid stars can be used to measure galactic distances. Singh shows how the creation of the heavier elements was a major stumbling block to widespread adoption of the big bang until Hoyle (once again boosting the theory that he so fervently opposed) proved that they were created in stars' nuclear furnaces and strewn throughout the universe via supernova explosions. Readers who don't need a review of the early development of cosmology may wish that Singh had adopted a somewhat less leisurely pace. But his introductory chapters hold a lot of worthwhile material, clearly presented for the science buff and lay reader. There's no better account of the big bang theory than this. B&w photos and illus. Agent, Patrick Walsh at Carville and Walsh, London. (Jan. 7) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"An expert but friendly guide to help you decode the mysteries [of the universe] with crisp, clear running commentary."--Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind
|Publisher: ||Harper Perennial|
|Dimensions: ||20.42 x 13.46 x 3.43 centimeters (0.48 kg)|