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Masks of the Universe: Changing Ideas on the Nature of the Cosmos

By: Edward Harrison

300 pages, 18 Figs

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | May 2003 | Edition: 2 | #136927 | ISBN: 0521773512
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £45.99 $58/€54 approx

About this book

Brings together fundamental scientific, philosophical, and religious issues in cosmology, raising thought provoking questions about the nature of the universe. '...Harrison has done a marvellous piece of historical research, and the book is filled with gems...He speaks in the language of science about mankind's age-old need to find meaning and order in a seemingly senseless Universe.' James Trefil, New York Times

From reviews of the first edition: 'In an age where philosophers and social scientists are trying to outdo one another in imitating physicists, it's refreshing and perhaps fitting that a physicist should remind them that there are important subjects that can't be approached in this way ! Harrison has done a marvellous piece of historical research, and the book is filled with gems ! He speaks in the language of science about mankind's age-old need to find meaning and order in a seemingly senseless Universe.' James Trefil, New York Times '! a fascinating blend of historical narrative, science popularisation, and philosophical argument.' Robert Romer, American Journal of Physics '! it exposes roots of our perennial search for meaning to our lives, to our world pictures, to our social universes, to the unknown Universe ! It is a book to be read and reread.' Harold Cassidy, American Scientist '! well produced, informative ! reasonably priced and will appeal to anyone of a philosophical turn of mind !'. Astronomy Now


Contents

Preface; Introducing the masks; Part I. Worlds in the Making: 1. The magic Universe; 2. The mythic Universe; 3. The geometric Universe; 4. The medieval Universe; 5. The infinite Universe; 6. The mechanistic Universe. Part II. The Heart Divine: 7. Dance of the atoms and waves; 8. Fabric of space and time; 9. Nearer to the heart's desire; 10. The cosmic tide; 11. Do dreams ever come true?; Part III. The Cloud of Unknowing: 12. The witch universe; 13. The spear of Archytas; 14. All that is made; 15. The cloud of unknowing; 16. Learned ignorance.

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Biography

Edward Harrison is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, and adjunct Professor of Astronomy at the Steward Observatory, University of Arizona.

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