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The Cosmic Revolutionary's Handbook


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Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Understanding science; 2. How dark is the night?; 3. Run for the hills!; 4. Going gently into that good night; 5. An ever-changing universe; 6. The wood for the trees; 7. We are (mostly) made of stars; 8. Ripples in the night sky; Notes; Further reading; Index.

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Presents the observations that helped establish our theories of the cosmos, from a unique and engaging perspective.

About the Author

Luke A. Barnes is a postdoctoral researcher at Western Sydney University. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney, before undertaking Ph.D. research at the University of Cambridge. The focus of his research has been the cosmic evolution of matter, and he has published papers in the field of galaxy formation and evolution, and on the fine-tuning of the Universe for life. He returned to the University of Sydney in 2008 as a Super Science Fellow, before being awarded a prestigious Templeton Fellowship to expand his research on the physics of fine-tuning of the laws of physics for complexity and ultimately life. Dr Barnes is an accomplished speaker to professional and amateur audiences, and can speak across the boundaries of cosmology, philosophy and religion. He has lectured to numerous amateur astronomical groups and to public audiences, including speaking on fine-tuning at the Royal Institution in London in 2017. Geraint F. Lewis is a Professor of Astrophysics at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, part of the University of Sydney's School of Physics. The focus of his research is cosmology and the dark side of the universe, namely the dark matter and dark energy that dominate cosmological evolution. He has published more than three hundred academic papers and is an acclaimed teacher. He also has a significant outreach profile, writing regularly for New Scientist and The Conversation, as well as regularly speaking publicly on all aspects of cosmology and astronomy, including speaking that the Royal Institution in London. He also has extensive experience interactions with the media, including podcast, radio and television experience. He currently is Deputy Director of the Sydney Informatics Hub, developing the infrastructure and knowledge-base to support big data, informatics, deep learning and artificial intelligence at the University of Sydney.


'Overthrowing all of modern cosmology isn't easy, but it could happen. Maybe you will be the one to do it! If you're up for the challenge, Luke A. Barnes and Geraint F. Lewis tell you exactly what you have to accomplish. Even if you don't topple the stodgy edifice of modern science, you'll certainly learn some exciting things about the universe along the way.' Sean Carroll, author of Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime
'If you are looking for a fun rendezvous with the universe, this is the book for you! Barnes and Lewis help you understand the basics of cosmology with simplicity and clarity - quite a feat given the complexity of our universe.' Priyamvada Natarajan, author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas that Reveal the Cosmos
'... a great starting point for budding astronomers or cosmologists who want to be able to 'debunk' would-be revolutionaries - or answer the 'but how do we know ...' they're likely to get asked.' Chris North, BBC Sky at Night Magazine
'A must-read for anyone interested in better understanding why cosmologists believe all those very strange things about the Universe. Mind you, new Galileo, you will still need a degree in physics and professional research training if you want to overthrow the Big Bang model, but this book might very well be the first step towards your goal.' Sunny Vagnozzi, Nature Astronomy
'The general educated public has heard about many key terms of modern science: 'evolution,' 'virus,' 'quantum theory,' and the 'big bang,' for example. But the framework and methodology of science are barely understood by most ... Here, Barnes (Western Sydney Univ.) and Lewis (Sydney Institute for Astronomy) inform the general reader about many fascinating aspects of astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology. The book is full of scientific facts and clarifying figures. More importantly, it clarifies the routes that lead to major scientific results ... Readers will gain a more than nodding acquaintance with the basics of astrophysics, including magnetic monopoles, dark matter, the inflationary model, and related key concepts ... books like this will inform and educate those who respect science and are willing to learn about good science and how it is done. This should be required reading for all college students, regardless of their major.' V. V. Raman, Choice
'The book is well written and includes a bit more 'how' (do we know) in addition to the 'what' of the standard model of cosmology ... I enjoyed reading this book; it's a breezy but careful introduction to where we are in our understanding of the Universe and how we got there.' Phillip Helbig, The Observatory

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