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1 Burnside Astronomy- Cosmology

Alpha and Omega: The Search for the Beginning and End of the Universe


Alpha and Omega: The Search for the Beginning and End of the Universe Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Humankind has grappled for millennia with the fundamental questions of the origin and end of the universe--it was a focus of ancient religions and myths and of the inquiries of Aristotle, Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton. Today we are at the brink of discoveries that should soon reveal the deepest secrets of the universe.

Alpha and Omega is a dispatch from the front lines of the cosmological revolution that is being waged at observatories and laboratories around the world-in Europe, in America, and even in Antarctica--where scientists are actually peering into both the cradle of the universe and its grave. Scientists--including galaxy hunters and microwave eavesdroppers, gravity theorists and atom smashers, all of whom are on the trail of dark matter, dark energy, and the growing inhabitants of the particle zoo-now know how the universe will end and are on the brink of understanding its beginning. Their findings will be among the greatest triumphs of science, even towering above the deciphering of the human genome.

This is the book you need to help understand the frequent front-page headlines heralding dramatic cosmological discoveries. It makes cutting-edge science both crystal clear and wonderfully exciting.


- Zero won the PEN/Albrand Award for first nonfiction and was a selection of the Quality Paperback Book Club


Includes bibliographical references (p. 269-276) and index.

About the Author

Charles Seife, a U.S. correspondent for the international magazine New Scientist, has also written for Scientific American, The Economist, Science, Wired UK, The Sciences , and numerous other publications. He holds an M.S. in mathematics from Yale University and his areas of research include probability theory and artificial intelligence. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Chapter 1: The First Cosmology [The Golden Age of the Gods] 1

Chapter 2: The First Cosmological Revolution [The Copernican Theory] 10

Chapter 3: The Second Cosmological Revolution [Hubble and the Big Bang] 25

Chapter 4: The Third Revolution Begins [The Universe Amok] 49

Chapter 5: The Music of the Spheres [The Cosmic Microwave Background] 63

Chapter 6: The Dark Universe [What's the Matter with Matter?] 90

Chapter 7: Darker Still [The Enigma of Exotic Dark Matter] 103

Chapter 8: The Big Bang in Our Backyard [The Birth of Baryons] 116

Chapter 9: The Good Nus [The Exotic Neutrino] 132

Chapter 10: Supersymmetry [Fearlessly Framing the Laws of Matter] 150

Chapter 11: Seeing the Invisible [MACHOs, WIMPs, and Illuminating the Darkest Regions of the Universe] 163

Chapter 12: The Deepest Mystery in Physics [&Lambda, the Vacuum, and Inflation] 182

Chapter 13: Wrinkles in Spacetime [Gravitational Waves and the Early Universe] 199

Chapter 14: Beyond the Third Revolution [Voyage to the Ends of Time] 215

Appendix A: Tired Light Retired 225

Appendix B: Where Does Matter Come From? 229

Appendix C: Nobel Prizes in Physics--Past and Future 235

Appendix D: Some Experiments to Watch 241

Glossary 249

Select Bibliography 269

Acknowledgements 277

Index 279

Product Details

The Search for the Beginning and End of the Universe
Seife, Charles
Viking Adult
New York
Astronomy - Universe
General science
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
no. 5.
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
b/w illustrations throughout; omit the 2
8.56x5.76x1.05 in. 1.02 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » Cosmology
Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Cosmology

Alpha and Omega: The Search for the Beginning and End of the Universe Used Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages Viking Books - English 9780670031795 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , - Zero won the PEN/Albrand Award for first nonfiction and was a selection of the Quality Paperback Book Club
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 269-276) and index.
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