Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    What I'm Giving | December 1, 2014

    Edward O. Wilson: IMG Edward O. Wilson: What I'm Giving



    At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$15.95
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
3 Local Warehouse Astronomy- General
13 Remote Warehouse Physics- Astrophysics

More copies of this ISBN

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

by

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe Cover

 

 

Excerpt

PREFACE

One of the deepest mysteries of our universe is the puzzle of whence it came.

 

When I entered Cambridge University as a mathematics graduate student, in the early 1950s, a fascinating cosmological theory was in the ascendant, known as the steady-state model. According to this scheme, the universe had no beginning, and it remained more-or-less the same, overall, for all time. The steady-state universe was able to achieve this, despite its expansion, because the continual depletion of material arising from the universe’s expansion is taken to be compensated by the continual creation of new material, in the form of an extremely diffuse hydrogen gas. My friend and mentor at Cambridge, the cosmologist Dennis Sciama, from whom I learnt the thrill of so much new physics, was at that time a strong proponent of steady-state cosmology, and he impressed upon me the beauty and power of that remarkable scheme of things.

 

Yet this theory has not stood the test of time. About 10 years after I had first entered Cambridge, and had become well acquainted with the theory, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered, to their own surprise, an all-pervading electromagnetic radiation, coming in from all directions, now referred to as the cosmic microwave background or CMB. This was soon identified, by Robert Dicke, as a predicted implication of the ‘flash’ of a Big-Bang origin to the universe, now presumed to have taken place some 14 thousand million years ago—an event that had been first seriously envisaged by Monsignor Georges Lemaître in 1927, as an implication of his work on Einstein’s 1915 equations of general relativity and early observational indications of an expansion of the universe. With great courage and scientific honesty (when the CMB data became better established), Dennis Sciama publicly repudiated his earlier views and strongly supported the idea of the Big Bang origin to the universe from then on.

 

Since that time, cosmology has matured from a speculative pursuit into an exact science, and intense analysis of the CMB—coming from highly detailed data, generated by numerous superb experiments—has formed a major part of this revolution. However, many mysteries remain, and much speculation continues to be part of this endeavour. In this book, I provide descriptions not only of the main models of classical relativistic cosmology but also of various developments and puzzling issues that have arisen since then. Most particularly, there is a profound oddness underlying the Second Law of thermodynamics and the very nature of the Big Bang. In relation to this, I am putting forward a body of speculation of my own, which brings together many strands of different aspects of the universe we know.

 

My own unorthodox approach dates from the summer of 2005, though much of the detail is more recent. This account goes seriously into some of the geometry, but I have refrained from including, in the main body of the text, anything serious in the way of equations or other technicalities, all these being banished to the Appendices. The experts, only, are referred to those parts of the book. The scheme that I am now arguing for here is indeed unorthodox, yet it is based on geometrical and physical ideas which are very soundly based. Although something entirely different, this proposal turns out to have strong echoes of the old steady-state model!

 

I wonder what Dennis Sciama would have made of it.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307278463
Author:
Penrose, Roger
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Subject:
Astrophysics & Space Science
Subject:
Astronomy - General
Subject:
cosmology;physics;science;time;astronomy;mathematics;entropy;astrophysics
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Publication Date:
20120531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
150 LINE DRAWINGS BY AUTHOR
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8 x 5.12 x 0.7 in 0.4794 lb

Other books you might like

  1. 1185 Park Avenue: A Memoir Used Trade Paper $6.50
  2. 2666: A Novel
    Sale Trade Paper $8.98

Related Subjects

Computers and Internet » Nutshell » General
Featured Titles » Science
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Astronomy » General
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » General
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » New Arrivals
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Astrophysics
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Cosmology
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Popular

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Vintage Books - English 9780307278463 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This groundbreaking book presents a new perspective on three of cosmology’s essential questions: What came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? And what cosmic future awaits us?

 

Penrose shows how the expected fate of our ever-accelerating and expanding universe—heat death or ultimate entropy—can actually be reinterpreted as the conditions that will begin a new “Big Bang.” He details the basic principles beneath our universe, explaining various standard and non-standard cosmological models, the fundamental role of the cosmic microwave background, the paramount significance of black holes, and other basic building blocks of contemporary physics. Intellectually thrilling and widely accessible, Cycles of Time is a welcome new contribution to our understanding of the universe from one of our greatest mathematicians and thinkers.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.