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A thought-provoking insight into the evolution of cosmology for undergraduate students and general readers, this book shows that the mystery of the origin of the universe is far from being solved. Cosmology has advanced over time through observational evidence as well as a lot of speculation. In this historical approach, the authors argue that the speculative element has become a dominant part of modern cosmology. They show how assumptions have been made and portrayed as confirmed facts. This unique book gives not only a critical assessment of the big bang theory, but presents a host of anomalous observations, and puts forward an alternative, controversial theory on the origin of the universe. A non-mathematical account, it contains analogies from everyday life so that readers can understand the concepts easily and follow the arguments presented.
Providing an in-depth understanding both for general readers and astronomy enthusiasts, this highly comprehensive book provides an up-to-date survey of our knowledge of the Universe beyond Earth. The book explores our Solar System, its planets and other bodies; examines the Sun and how it and other stars evolve through their lifetimes; discusses the search for planets beyond our Solar System and how we might detect life on them; and highlights interesting objects found within our galaxy, the Milky Way. It also looks at our current understanding of the origin and evolution of the Universe, as well as many other intriguing topics, such as time, black holes and Einstein's theories, dark matter, dark energy and the Cosmic Microwave Background. The book is uniquely supported by video lectures given by the author, available online. It also includes the very latest astronomical observations, such as those made by the Planck and Kepler spacecraft.
With lucid prose that recalls the best-selling and beloved Cosmos, Ann Druyan takes readers on an extraordinary journey through the vast and unexplored realms of Earth and space, past and future, fact and imagination. Written and published in coordination with the sensational international television debut of a second season of National Geographic's Cosmos,Cosmos Possible Worlds travels through more than 14 billion years of cosmic evolution and into an astonishing future where probes travel by light beams to distant stars, helping us solve enduring mysteries of our origins and dream of an unimaginable time ahead. Along the way, we meet the colorful characters who push beyond the boundaries of knowledge - both the little-known but monumental visionaries of the past and the scientists whose work is shaping our future. Color photographs, art, and diagrams based on graphics created for the television series - plus a foreword by Neil deGrasse Tyson, best-selling author, wildly popular science commentator, and host of Cosmos on the National Geographic Channel - complete this highly anticipated package.
The first collection and translation into English of the earliest biographical accounts of Galileo's life This unique critical edition presents key early biographical accounts of the life and work of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), written by his close contemporaries. Collected and translated into English for the first time and supplemented by an introduction and incisive annotations by Stefano Gattei, these documents paint an incomparable firsthand picture of Galileo and offer rare insights into the construction of his public image and the complex intertwining of science, religion, and politics in seventeenth-century Italy. Here in its entirety is Vincenzo Viviani's Historical Account, an extensive and influential biography of Galileo written in 1654 by his last and most devoted pupil. Viviani's text is accompanied by his "Letter to Prince Leopoldo de' Medici on the Application of Pendulum to Clocks" (1659), his 1674 description of Galileo's later works, and the long inscriptions on the facade of Viviani's Florentine palace (1702). The collection also includes the "Adulatio perniciosa," a Latin poem written in 1620 by Cardinal Maffeo Barberini-who, as Pope Urban VIII, would become Galileo's prosecutor-as well as descriptive accounts that emerged from the Roman court and contemporary European biographers. Featuring the original texts in Italian, Latin, and French with their English translations on facing pages, this invaluable book shows how Galileo's pupils, friends, and critics shaped the Galileo myth for centuries to come, and brings together in one volume the primary sources needed to understand the legendary scientist in his time.
Providing a comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of observational cosmology, this advanced undergraduate textbook enables students to use quantitative physical methods to understand the Universe. The textbook covers recent developments such as precision cosmology and the concordance cosmological model, inflation, gravitational lensing, the extragalactic far-infrared and X-ray backgrounds, downsizing and baryon wiggles. It also explores the future missions and facilities likely to dominate cosmological research in the future, including radio, X-ray, submillimetre-wave and gravitational wave astronomy. Each chapter contains full-colour figures, worked examples and exercises with complete solutions. Clearly identified key facts and equations help students easily locate important information. Suggestions for further reading provide jumping-off points for students aiming to further their studies. Reflecting decades of Open University experience in undergraduate teaching, this textbook brings students to the forefront of the rapidly developing field of observational cosmology. Accompanying resources to this textbook are available at: http://www.cambridge.org/features/astrophysics.
A student-active introduction to astronomy, emphasizing inquiry learning so students will clearly understand our universe and the scientific method. Within-text and end-of-chapter questions check understanding of concepts and require the student to think critically through astronomy-based problems. 'Nature of Science' and 'Detectives on the Case' sections in each chapter encourage students to take on the role of a scientist and so develop an understanding of how scientific progress is made, leading students through a chain of arguments of forming and testing hypotheses, in the context of specific astronomical topics. By focusing on key topics, the student is able to develop a deeper understanding of the core areas of astronomy. Math is used to make intuitive points and kept simple by using a two-track system to first describe the logic of the calculation followed by a more detailed example. Simple illustrations support the text and step students through concepts visually.
Maintaining its appealing style and presentation, the Yearbook of Astronomy 2020 contains comprehensive jargon-free monthly sky notes and an authoritative set of sky charts to enable backyard astronomers and sky gazers everywhere to plan their viewing of the year's eclipses, comets, meteor showers and minor planets as well as detailing the phases of the Moon and visibility and locations of the planets throughout the year. To supplement all this is a variety of entertaining and informative articles, a feature for which the Yearbook of Astronomy is known. Presenting the reader with information on a wide range of topics, the articles for the 2020 edition include, among others, 200 Years of the Royal Astronomical Society; The Naming of Stars; Astronomical Sketching; Dark Matter and Galaxies; Eclipsing Binaries; The First Known Black Hole; and A Perspective on the Aboriginal View of the World. The Yearbook of Astronomy made its first appearance way back in 1962, shortly after the dawning of the Space Age. Now well into its sixth decade of production, the Yearbook is rapidly heading for its Diamond Jubilee edition in 2022. It continues to be essential reading for anyone lured and fascinated by the magic of astronomy and who has a desire to extend their knowledge of the Universe and the wonders it plays host to. The Yearbook of Astronomy is indeed an inspiration to amateur and professional astronomers alike, and warrants a place on the bookshelf of all sky watchers and stargazers.
Time is central to our lived experience of the world. Yet, as this book reveals, it is startlingly difficult to reconcile the way we seem to experience time with many of the theories presented to us in physics and metaphysics. This comprehensive and accessible introduction guides the unfamiliar reader through difficult questions at the intersection of the metaphysics and physics of time. It starts with the assumption that physics and metaphysics are inextricably connected, and that each can, and should, shed light on the other. The authors explore a range of views about the nature of time, showing how different these are from the way we typically think about time and our place in it. They consider such questions as: whether time travel is possible, and, if it is, whether we can change the past; whether there is a single moment that is objectively present; whether time flows or is static; and whether, ultimately, time exists at all. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Time will appeal to students of physics and philosophy who want both a comprehensive overview of the area and enough depth to allow for rigorous discussion. The book's detailed readings and exercises will challenge students and provide a clear roadmap for further study.
This book is dedicated to the application of the different theoretical models described in Volume 1 to identify the near-, mid- and far-infrared spectra of linear and nonlinear triatomic molecules in gaseous phase or subjected to environmental constraints, useful for the study of environmental sciences, planetology and astrophysics. The Van Vleck contact transformation method, described in Volume 1, is applied in the calculation and analysis of IR transitions between vibration-rotation energy levels. The extended Lakhlifi-Dahoo substitution model is used in the framework of Liouville's formalism and the line profiles of triatomic molecules and their isotopologues subjected to environmental constraints are calculated by applying the cumulant expansion. The applications presented in this book show how interactions at the molecular level modify the infrared spectra of triatomics trapped in a nano-cage (substitution site of a rare gas matrix, clathrate, fullerene, zeolite) or adsorbed on a surface, and how these interactions may be used to identify the characteristics of the perturbing environment.
Jill Tarter is a pioneer, an innovator, an adventurer, and a controversial force. At a time when women weren't encouraged to do much outside the home, Tarter ventured as far out as she could-into the three-Kelvin cold of deep space. And she hasn't stopped investigating a subject that takes and takes without giving much back. Today, her computer's screensaver is just the text "SO...ARE WE ALONE?" This question keeps her up at night. In some ways, this is the question that keep us all up at night. We have all spent dark hours wondering about our place in it all, pondering our "aloneness," both terrestrial and cosmic. Tarter's life and her work are not just a quest to understand life in the universe: they are a quest to understand our lives within the universe. No one has told that story, her story, until now. It all began with gazing into the night sky. All those stars were just distant suns-were any of them someone else's sun? Diving into the science, philosophy, and politics of SETI-searching for extraterrestrial intelligence-Sarah Scoles reveals the fascinating figure at the center of the final frontier of scientific investigation. This is the perfect book for anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky and wondered if we are alone in the universe.
The development of nuclear weapons during the Manhattan Project is one of the most significant scientific events of the twentieth century. This revised and updated 4th edition explores the challenges that faced the scientists and engineers of the Manhattan Project. It gives a clear introduction to fission weapons at the level of an upper-year undergraduate physics student by examining the details of nuclear reactions, their energy release, analytic and numerical models of the fission process, how critical masses can be estimated, how fissile materials are produced, and what factors complicate bomb design. An extensive list of references and a number of exercises for self-study are included. Revisions to this fourth edition include many upgrades and new sections. Improvements are made to, among other things, the analysis of the physics of the fission barrier, the time-dependent simulation of the explosion of a nuclear weapon, and the discussion of tamped bomb cores. New sections cover, for example, composite bomb cores, approximate methods for various of the calculations presented, and the physics of the polonium-beryllium "neutron initiators" used to trigger the bombs. The author delivers in this book an unparalleled, clear and comprehensive treatment of the physics behind the Manhattan project.
On a scorching July afternoon in 1878, at the dawn of the Gilded Age, the moon's shadow descended on the American West, darkening skies from Montana Territory to Texas. This rare celestial event-a total solar eclipse-offered a priceless opportunity to solve some of the solar system's most enduring riddles, and it prompted a clutch of enterprising scientists to brave the wild frontier in a grueling race to the Rocky Mountains. Acclaimed science journalist David Baron, long fascinated by eclipses, re-creates this epic tale of ambition, failure, and glory in a narrative that reveals as much about the historical trajectory of a striving young nation as it does about those scant three minutes when the blue sky blackened and stars appeared in mid-afternoon. Lauded as a "sweeping, compelling" (Wall Street Journal) work of science history, American Eclipse tells the story of the three tenacious and brilliant scientists who raced to Wyoming and Colorado to observe the rare event. Dedicating years of "exhaustive research to reconstruct a remarkable chapter of U.S. history" (Scientific American), award-winning writer David Baron brings to three-dimensional life these competitors-the planet-hunter James Craig Watson, pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell, and the ambitious young inventor Thomas Edison-to thrillingly re-create the fierce jockeying of nineteenth-century American astronomy. With spellbinding accounts of train robberies and Indian skirmishes, the mythologized age of the Wild West comes alive as never before. An "enthralling" (Daniel Kevles) and magnificent portrayal of America's dawn as a scientific superpower, American Eclipse depicts a young nation that looked to the skies to reveal its towering ambition and expose its latent genius.
Mask of the Sun recounts the forgotten lore behind this amazing phenomenon and reveals the humanism behind the science of both lunar and solar eclipses.
On February 15, 2013, the Chelyabinsk meteor sailed over Russian skies in a streak of light that was momentarily brighter than the Sun. The remarkable event and its subsequent shock wave were witnessed and documented by countless local residents, launching a widespread scientific expedition to gather and study the remaining meteoritic fragments. This book chronicles Chelyabinsk's tale of recovery and discovery from the minds of many of the scientists who studied the superbolide, leading field experiments and collecting meteorites and meteorite dust across the region. The Chelyabinsk superbolide is a complex and multi-aspect phenomenon. The book not only presents the results of the scientific research but also details the firsthand experiences of those involved in such efforts, providing readers with a unique opportunity to look at the "inner workings" of science that are seldom shown to the public. Over the course of their studies, the scientists collected over 200 photographs and a dozen video recordings taken by nearly 40 different eyewitnesses. Many of those never-before-published illustrations and photos can be found in full color in the pages of this book.
From the brilliant illustrator, Simon Tyler, comes a wonderful compendium of space, space travel and much more. One day our sun will grow...and grow...and grow...until it ends its life as a red giant 400x its current size. Wonder at facts like these, and much more, in the new illustrated guide to Space. Space is fascinating, and in this book Simon Tyler gorgeously illustrates the planets, meteors, rockets and galaxies - even strange phenomena like the speed of light and solar flares!
In these days of computers and CCD cameras, visual comet observers can still contribute scientifically useful data with the help of this handy reference for use in the field. Comets are one of the principal areas for productive pro-amateur collaboration in astronomy, but finding comets requires a different approach than the observing of more predictable targets. Principally directed toward amateur astronomers who prefer visual observing or who are interested in discovering a new comet or visually monitoring the behavior of known comets, it includes all the advice needed to thrive as a comet observer. After presenting a brief overview of the nature of comets and how we came to the modern understanding of comets, this book details the various types of observations that can usefully be carried out at the eyepiece of a telescope. Subjects range from how to search for new comets to visually estimating the brightness of comets and the length and orientation of tails, in addition to what to look for in comet heads and tails. Details are also given of 20 periodic comets, predicted to return between the years 2017 and 2027, that are expected to become suitable targets for visual observing, in addition to information on a famous comet potentially visible each year and subject to great outbursts of brightness.
Written by a carefully selected consortium of researchers working
in the field, this book fills the gap for an up-to-date summary of
the observational and theoretical status. As such, this monograph
includes all used wavelengths, from radio to gamma, the FERMI
telescope, a history and theory refresher, and jets from gamma ray
This astronomy travel guide examines the many wonderful opportunities for experiencing the observing hobby. Amateur astronomy is often consigned to observing from home or from a local park, yet it can be much more. Tim Treadwell explores all the possibilities of astronomical and space-related activities that are available on day trips and longer vacations. These activities range from observatory visits and other simple ways to build an astronomy event into a holiday, to full blown specialized astronomy travel. Many trips give the opportunity to visit some of the world's famous attractions. On most vacations it can be a matter of just taking a day (or night) out of your schedule to fit in an astronomy event, but larger, dedicated pilgrimages are also possible. How to make the most of astronomy potential on a holiday, whether observing on the beach in Hawaii with the Telescope Guy or visiting Star City in Russia, is covered in detail. Go to a star party, explore the national parks or see the northern lights! There are a wide variety of activities for all budgets described in this book.
"Multiverse" cosmologies imagine our universe as just one of a vast number of others. While this idea has captivated philosophy, religion, and literature for millennia, it is now being considered as a scientific hypothesis-with different models emerging from cosmology, quantum mechanics, and string theory. Beginning with ancient Atomist and Stoic philosophies, Mary-Jane Rubenstein links contemporary models of the multiverse to their forerunners and explores the reasons for their recent appearance. One concerns the so-called fine-tuning of the universe: nature's constants are so delicately calibrated that it seems they have been set just right to allow life to emerge. For some thinkers, these "fine-tunings" are evidence of the existence of God; for others, however, and for most physicists, "God" is an insufficient scientific explanation. Hence the allure of the multiverse: if all possible worlds exist somewhere, then like monkeys hammering out Shakespeare, one universe is bound to be suitable for life. Of course, this hypothesis replaces God with an equally baffling article of faith: the existence of universes beyond, before, or after our own, eternally generated yet forever inaccessible to observation or experiment. In their very efforts to sidestep metaphysics, theoretical physicists propose multiverse scenarios that collide with it and even produce counter-theological narratives. Far from invalidating multiverse hypotheses, Rubenstein argues, this interdisciplinary collision actually secures their scientific viability. We may therefore be witnessing a radical reconfiguration of physics, philosophy, and religion in the modern turn to the multiverse.
Cometography is a multi-volume catalog of every comet observed from ancient times up to the 1990s, when the internet took off as a medium of scientific record. It uses the most reliable orbits known to determine the distances from the Earth and Sun at the time of discovery and last observation, as well as the largest and smallest angular distance to the Sun, most northerly and southerly declination, closest distance to the Earth, and other details, to enable the reader to understand each comet's physical appearance. Volume 6, the final volume in the catalog, covers the observations and pertinent calculations for every comet seen between 1983 and 1993. The comets are listed in chronological order, with complete references to publications relating to each comet and physical descriptions of each comet's development throughout its apparition. Cometography is the definitive reference on comets through the ages, for astronomers and historians of science.
Quantum theory underpins much of modern physics and its implications draw the attention of industry, academia and public funding agencies. However there are many unsettled conceptual and philosophical problems in the interpretation of quantum mechanics which are a matter of extensive debate. These hotly debated topics include the meaning of the wave function, the nature of the quantum objects, the role of the observer, the non-locality of the quantum world, and the emergence of classicality from the quantum domain. Containing chapters written by eminent researchers from the fields of physics and philosophy, this book provides interdisciplinary, comprehensive and up-to-date perspectives of the problems related to the interpretation of quantum theory. It is ideal for academic researchers in physics and philosophy working on the ontology of quantum mechanics.
This book marks the centennial of Tebbutt's death with a major biographical account surveying his scientific contributions to astronomy, prefaced with a foreword by Sir Patrick Moore. During the second half of the nineteenth century, Tebbutt was Australia's foremost astronomer. He devoted his time and funds to astronomy, and built a truly international reputation that far surpassed Australia's leading professional astronomers of the day. This book marks the centennial of Tebbutt's death with a major biographical account. Tebbutt's remarkable record of achievement extends over more than half a century. Orchiston's book covers the whole of Tebbutt's career, from his yearly observatory reports and comet discoveries to his time as the first president of Sydney's branch of the British Astronomical Association.
This intriguing theory takes a scientific leap comparable to that of Copernicus who first proposed that the Earth revolves around the sun.
WHY DO YOUR FINGERS GO WRINKLY IN THE BATH? HOW LONG CAN GOLDFISH REMEMBER THINGS? WHO THOUGHT UP NEWTON'S FIRST LAW? Science is all about finding answers to mind-boggling questions -- so following the hugely successful How Many Moons Does the Earth Have?, here are another 100 brain-teasers to test yourself, discover some amazing answers, and learn a lot of stuff along the way. Where does brown belong in the spectrum? What is a Zener card? And what color is the sun? With Brian Clegg, science has never been so much fun.
What is 'nothing'? What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space - a void - exist? This Very Short Introduction explores the science and the history of the elusive void: from Aristotle who insisted that the vacuum was impossible, via the theories of Newton and Einstein, to our very latest discoveries and why they can tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos. Frank Close tells the story of how scientists have explored the elusive void, and the rich discoveries that they have made there. He takes the reader on a lively and accessible history through ancient ideas and cultural superstitions to the frontiers of current research. He describes how scientists discovered that the vacuum is filled with fields; how Newton, Mach, and Einstein grappled with the nature of space and time; and how the mysterious 'aether' that was long ago supposed to permeate the void may now be making a comeback with the latest research into the 'Higgs field'. We now know that the vacuum is far from being empty - it seethes with virtual particles and antiparticles that erupt spontaneously into being, and it also may contain hidden dimensions that we were previously unaware of. These new discoveries may provide answers to some of cosmology's most fundamental questions: what lies outside the universe, and, if there was once nothing, then how did the universe begin? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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