Click to have a closer look
About this book
About this book
This interdisciplinary volume investigates and explains how the field of astronomy and cosmology has affected human life and perceptions of the universe. Chapters cover the historical background of the field, past and current research, the science behind astronomy, and open questions raised by modern astronomical and cosmological research. Many contributors offer unique overviews of the field, covering creativity and technology in discovery, the impact of telescopes, challenges in astronomy, and questions raised by new knowledge. Appendices provide chapter summaries, contributor bios, and ellipsis projects.
CREATIVITY AND TECHNOLOGY IN ASTRONOMICAL DISCOVERY From the language of Heaven to the Rationale of Matter; Lee The impact of modern telescope development on astronomy; Giacconi Searching for other Earths and life in the universe; Marcy IMPACT OF TELESCOPES ON OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE UNIVERSE The cosmic microwave background radiation -- A unique window on the early universe; Hinshaw The development of large-scale structure in the universe The first stars; Yoshida The dark secrets of gaseous nebulae -- A brief history of nebular spectroscopy; Liu An overview of supernovae and associated gamma-ray bursts; Filippenko The formation and evolution of galaxies; Moore SOME NEAR-TERM CHALLENGES IN ASTRONOMY Ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays; Farrar Can we detect dark matter; Bloom Can we understand dark energy; Sullivan Black-hole hunting "WWHWW": Why, what, how, which, and where?; Zhang TECHNOLOGIES FOR FUTURE QUESTIONS New technologies for radio astronomy; Lo Advanced optical techniques; Shao Scientific opportunities with thirty-meter-class optical telescopes; Ellis INTELLECTUAL IMPACT OF THE TELESCOPE ON SOCIETY Impact of astronomy on society in the days before telescopes; Huang Early impact of the telescope on society in the West: The first two centuries; Gingerich Impact of the telescope on society in the East (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries); Sun BIG QUESTIONS RAISED BY NEW KNOWLEDGE The ability to detect planets and what we can learn; Bieichman Exoplanet atmospheres and the search for biosignatures; Seager Life and the laws of physics; Davies Multiverse or universe?; Kallosh Why are the laws of nature as they are? What underlies their existence?; Ellis Laws of nature, moral order, and the intelligibility of the cosmos; Harrison Cosmos and humanity in traditional Chinese thought; Kim Appendix 1: The Templeton Report (on NV400) Appendix 2: Chapter Summaries Appendix 3: Contributor Biosketches Appendix 4: Ellipsis Projects
To see video presentations from the New Vision 400 conference celebrating the 400th anniversary of the invention of the telescope, see the New Vision 400 web site. Donald G. York, Chief Editor, is Horace B. Horton Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at The University of Chicago. He was the founding director of the Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico, and of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, one of the most ambitious collaborative projects ever undertaken by astronomers. He is also the founder and co-director of the Chicago Public Schools/University of Chicago Internet Project, a neighborhood schools technology initiative. Owen Gingerich, Co-Editor, is Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Harvard University and a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics). He is co-author of two successive standard models for the solar atmosphere and is a leading authority on the 17th-century astronomer Johannes Kepler and the 16th-century cosmologist Nicolaus Copernicus. A world traveler, he has successfully observed 14 total solar eclipses. Shuang-Nan Zhang, Co-Editor, is Professor and Director of Key Laboratory of and Center for Particle Astrophysics in the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as well as Research Professor of Physics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He is also the chief scientist of the Space Science Division of the National Astronomical Observatories of China and heads the X-ray Imaging Laboratory, which is leading several space x-ray astronomy missions in China, as well as the space astronomy program onboard China's Spacelab and Space Station.