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Calculating the cosmos : how mathematics unveils the universe /

by Stewart, Ian [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Basic Books, [2016]Description: 346 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9780465096107; 0465096107.Subject(s): Cosmology -- Mathematics | Astronomy -- Mathematics | MATHEMATICS -- Essays | SCIENCE -- Astronomy | SCIENCE -- Physics -- Astrophysics | SCIENCE -- Space Science
Contents:
Prologue -- Attraction at a distance -- Collapse of the solar nebula -- Inconstant Moon -- The clockwork cosmos -- Celestial police -- The planet that swallowed its children -- Cosimo's stars -- Off on a comet -- Chaos in the cosmos -- The interplanetary superhighway -- Great balls of fire -- Great sky river -- Alien worlds -- Dark stars -- Skeins and voids -- The cosmic egg -- The big blow-up -- The dark side -- Outside the universe -- Epilogue.
Summary: "In Calculating the Cosmos, Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end. He considers parallel universes, the fine-tuning of the cosmos for life, what forms extraterrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of life on Earth being snuffed out by an asteroid. Beginning with the Babylonian integration of mathematics into the study of astronomy and cosmology, Stewart traces the evolution of our understanding of the cosmos: How Kepler's laws of planetary motion led Newton to formulate his theory of gravity. How, two centuries later, tiny irregularities in the motion of Mars inspired Einstein to devise his general theory of relativity. How, eighty years ago, the discovery that the universe is expanding led to the development of the Big Bang theory of its origins. How single-point origin and expansion led cosmologists to theorize new components of the universe, such as inflation, dark matter, and dark energy. But does inflation explain the structure of today's universe? Does dark matter actually exist? Could a scientific revolution that will challenge the long-held scientific orthodoxy and once again transform our understanding of the universe be on the way? In an exciting and engaging style, Calculating the Cosmos is a mathematical quest through the intricate realms of astronomy and cosmology."-- Dust jacket.
List(s) this item appears in: Univ. of Stories-NF
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Adult Collection Adult NonFiction 523.1 STE Available 39270004719963

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

A prize-winning popular science writer uses mathematical modeling to explain the cosmos. In Calculating the Cosmos , Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end. He considers parallel universes, the fine-tuning of the cosmos for life, what forms extraterrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of life on Earth being snuffed out by an asteroid. <br> Beginning with the Babylonian integration of mathematics into the study of astronomy and cosmology, Stewart traces the evolution of our understanding of the cosmos: How Kepler's laws of planetary motion led Newton to formulate his theory of gravity. How, two centuries later, tiny irregularities in the motion of Mars inspired Einstein to devise his general theory of relativity. How, eighty years ago, the discovery that the universe is expanding led to the development of the Big Bang theory of its origins. How single-point origin and expansion led cosmologists to theorize new components of the universe, such as inflation, dark matter, and dark energy. But does inflation explain the structure of today's universe? Does dark matter actually exist? Could a scientific revolution that will challenge the long-held scientific orthodoxy and once again transform our understanding of the universe be on the way? In an exciting and engaging style, Calculating the Cosmos is a mathematical quest through the intricate realms of astronomy and cosmology.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 304-320) and index.

Prologue -- Attraction at a distance -- Collapse of the solar nebula -- Inconstant Moon -- The clockwork cosmos -- Celestial police -- The planet that swallowed its children -- Cosimo's stars -- Off on a comet -- Chaos in the cosmos -- The interplanetary superhighway -- Great balls of fire -- Great sky river -- Alien worlds -- Dark stars -- Skeins and voids -- The cosmic egg -- The big blow-up -- The dark side -- Outside the universe -- Epilogue.

"In Calculating the Cosmos, Ian Stewart presents an exhilarating guide to the cosmos, from our solar system to the entire universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it's all going to end. He considers parallel universes, the fine-tuning of the cosmos for life, what forms extraterrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of life on Earth being snuffed out by an asteroid. Beginning with the Babylonian integration of mathematics into the study of astronomy and cosmology, Stewart traces the evolution of our understanding of the cosmos: How Kepler's laws of planetary motion led Newton to formulate his theory of gravity. How, two centuries later, tiny irregularities in the motion of Mars inspired Einstein to devise his general theory of relativity. How, eighty years ago, the discovery that the universe is expanding led to the development of the Big Bang theory of its origins. How single-point origin and expansion led cosmologists to theorize new components of the universe, such as inflation, dark matter, and dark energy. But does inflation explain the structure of today's universe? Does dark matter actually exist? Could a scientific revolution that will challenge the long-held scientific orthodoxy and once again transform our understanding of the universe be on the way? In an exciting and engaging style, Calculating the Cosmos is a mathematical quest through the intricate realms of astronomy and cosmology."-- Dust jacket.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Prologue (p. 1)
  • 1 Attraction at a Distance (p. 11)
  • 2 Collapse of the Solar Nebula (p. 27)
  • 3 Inconstant Moon (p. 40)
  • 4 The Clockwork Cosmos (p. 54)
  • 5 Celestial Police (p. 70)
  • 6 The Planet that Swallowed its Children (p. 84)
  • 7 Cosimo's Stars (p. 96)
  • 8 Off on a Comet (p. 106)
  • 9 Chaos in the Cosmos (p. 119)
  • 10 The Interplanetary Superhighway (p. 137)
  • 11 Great Balls of Fire (p. 150)
  • 12 Great Sky River (p. 172)
  • 13 Alien Worlds (p. 187)
  • 14 Dark Stars (p. 207)
  • 15 Skeins and Voids (p. 226)
  • 16 The Cosmic Egg (p. 241)
  • 17 The Big Blow-Up (p. 251)
  • 18 The Dark Side (p. 262)
  • 19 Outside the Universe (p. 277)
  • Epilogue (p. 295)
  • Units and Jargon (p. 299)
  • Notes and References (p. 304)
  • Picture Credits (p. 321)
  • Index (p. 323)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Astronomy and mathematics have been linked from the golden age of Greece through the present day. Though this volume recounts that history, most of the text can be divided into two main sections: planetary motion and cosmology. In the former, Stewart (mathematics, director, Mathematics Awareness Ctr.; Univ. of Warwick, England) shows how modern theory has modified our image of a Newtonian stable clockwork solar system. Since the equations describing multibody systems are not solvable, they are simulated on computers. These simulations reveal systems that have an amazingly chaotic history and future. The author also relates how chaos theory makes possible the planning of the trajectories of space probes, which have provided immense amounts of new information about the planets. As for cosmology, the book explains what we know about distant galaxies, stars, and exoplanets. Although no equations are used here, certain sections still require some effort on the part of readers-but it's well worth it. Stewart's wry sense of humor adds to this informative yet entertaining read. VERDICT Highly recommended for science readers who are up for a challenge.-Harold D. Shane, Mathematics -Emeritus, Baruch Coll. Lib., CUNY © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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