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The Science of the Universe

2nd Edition


  • Date Published: March 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521661485

£ 80.99

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About the Authors
  • Cosmology: The Science of the Universe is an introduction to past and present cosmological theory. For much of the world's history, cosmological thought was formulated in religious or philosophical language and was thus theological or metaphysical in nature. However, cosmological speculation and theory has now become a science in which the empirical discoveries of the astronomer, theoretical physicist, and biologist are woven into intricate models that attempt to account for the universe as a whole. Professor Harrison draws on the discoveries and speculations of these scientists to provide a comprehensive survey of man's current understanding of the universe and its history. Tracing the rise of the scientific method, the major aim of this book is to provide an elementary understanding of the physical universe of modern times. Thoroughly revised and updated, this second edition extends the much acclaimed first edition taking into account the many developments that have occurred.

    • All chapters competely revised and updated (7 new chapters, 73 new figures, includes questions and topics for debate)
    • Unlike other texts, in addition to the science, this book stresses the historical, philosophical, sociological and theological aspects of the quest for human understanding of the universe
    • 1st edition sold in excess of 12300 copies worldwide since 1981 and received excellent reviews
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'I do not hesitate to say that this is simply the best book on cosmology at a semi-popular level I have ever read - and I read most of them … It gives the reader the history, the meanders, the highlights, the beauty and the greatness of the whole enterprise. More, it gives the reader effective tools to reach his own conclusions … an outstanding work of scientific exposition that I strongly recommend.' General Relativity and Gravitation

    'This long-awaited update to Harrison's classic textbook is ideal for those who have exhausted the beginners' accounts and want to dig deep into the science and philosophy. Harrison offers fresh ways to think about basic principles, and he strolls down long-forgotten byways that give such richness to the subject.' Scientific American

    From reviews of the first edition: 'This book is a remarkable synthesis of scientific thought about the Universe in the large. It is the product of the large thinking, large scholarship, and large generosity of mind of Professor Harrison ... Harrison's easy mastery of style that so well matches his subject makes this an exhilarating exercise … The highest tribute I can offer to Harrison's splendid book is that I have not ceased to reflect upon it since I finished reading it.' William McCrea (ex-president of the Royal Astronomical Society), Contemporary Physics

    'Unusual, discursive, non-mathematical, full of reflective comments and disturbing questions, packed with unexpected citations … A beginning serious interest in cosmology can find no better satisfaction than in this helpful overview.' Phil Morrison, Scientific American

    'This is the second edition of Harrison's first class book on elementary cosmology for all to understand … The book is provocative and readable.' Irish Astronomical Journal

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: March 2000
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521661485
    • length: 578 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 32 mm
    • weight: 1.38kg
    • contains: 327 b/w illus. 14 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I:
    1. What is cosmology?
    2. Early scientific cosmology
    3. Cartesian and Newtonian world systems
    4. Cosmology after Newton and before Einstein
    5. Stars
    6. Galaxies
    7. Location and the cosmic center
    8. Containment and the cosmic edge
    9. Space and time
    Part II:
    10. Curved space
    11. Special relativity
    12. General relativity
    13. Black holes
    14. Expansion of the universe
    15. Cosmic redshifts
    16. Newtonian cosmology
    17. Cosmic box
    18. Many universes
    19. Observational cosmology
    Part III:
    20. The early universe
    21. Horizons in the universe
    22. Inflation
    23. The cosmic numbers
    24. Darkness at night
    25. Creation of the universe
    26. Life in the universe

  • Author

    Edward Harrison, University of Arizona

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