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This is a wonderfully lucid account of the extraordinary discoveries that have made the last years a golden period for observational cosmology. But Mario Livio has not only given the reader one clear explanation after another of what astronomers are up to, he has used them to construct a provocative argument for the importance of aesthetics in the development of science and for the inseparability of science, art, and culture.
-Lee Smolin, author of The Life of the Cosmos
Foreword. Preface. Prologue. Beauty and the Beast. Expansion. The Case of the Missing Matter. Flat Is Beautiful. When Inflation Is Good. Creation. The Meaning of Life. A Universe Custom Made for Us?. A Cosmological Aesthetic Principle?. Index.
MARIO LIVIO, Ph.D., is head of the science program at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which conducts the scientific program of the Hubble Space Telescope. He is a world-recognized expert on topics ranging from dramatic explosions like novae, supernovae, and gamma-ray bursts to compact astronomical objects like white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. He has published over 300 scientific papers and has lectured to the public about discoveries in astronomy and cosmology all across the globe.
...Elegantly written and timely book. Offering extraordinarily clear explanations of all key concepts and theoretical ideas... (Science Book Board, October 2000)