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Sir Isaac Newton famously said, regarding his discoveries, "If I have seen further it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."
The Evolving Universe and the Origin of Life describes, complete with fascinating biographical details of the thinkers involved, the ascent to the metaphorical shoulders accomplished by the greatest minds in history. For the first time, a single book can take the reader on a journey through the history of the universe as interpreted by the expanding body of knowledge of humankind. From subatomic particles to the protein chains that form life, and expanding in scale to the entire universe, this book covers the science that explains how we came to be.
The Evolving Universe and the Origin of Life contains a great breadth of knowledge, from astronomy to physics, from chemistry to biology. It includes over 350 figures that enhance the comprehension of concepts both basic and advanced, and is a non-technical, easy-to-read text at an introductory college level that is ideal for anyone interested in science as well as its history.
Part I: The Widening World View.- When Science Was Born.- Science in Athens.- Planetary Spheres and the Size of the Universe.- Medieval Cosmology.- The Roots of the Copernican Revolution.- The True Laws of Planetary Motion Revealed.- Galileo Galilei and His Successors.- How Far Away Are the Stars?.- The Scale of the Solar System.- Part II: Physical Laws of Nature.- Newton.- Celestial Mechanics.- Nature of Light.- Electricity and Magnetism.- Time and Space.- Curved Space and Gravity.- Atoms and Nuclei.- Strange Microworld.- Elementary Particles.- Part III: The Universe.- Stars: Cosmic Fusion Reactors.- The Riddle of the Milky Way.- Entering the Galaxy Universe.- Large-scale Structure of the Universe.- Finite or Infinite Universe: Cosmological Models.- When it all Began: Big Bang.- The Dark Side of the Universe.- Active Galaxies: Messages Through Radio Waves.- Origin of Galaxies.- Part IV: Life in the Universe.- The Nature of Life.- The Origin of Earth and its Moon.- Emergence and Evolution of Life.- Life and our Solar System.- Extrasolar Planetary Systems and Life in other Solar Systems.- Humans' Role in the Universe.- Recommended Reading.- Index.
From the reviews: "Written for anyone interested in the quest for that knowledge which has changed our way of thinking about the world, this is an excellent book. Although suitable for the general audience, the book can be used as an undergraduate text ! by those who recognize the connection between the humanities and the sciences. ! I can recommend it not only for its readability, but also for its coverage of the scientific concepts that define our way of thinking about the Universe." (Sethanne Howard, Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Spring 2009) "This excellent book by Teerikorpi ! and colleagues sets high goals for itself and satisfies them. ! The treatments of each of the topics, together with the latest information, not only inform but also give nicely thought out summaries of the evolutions of seminal scientific ideas. These include cosmology, observational astronomy, the laws of physics, and the chemistry of life. ! This volume belongs in all college libraries and on the desks of most scientists. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries." (K. L. Schick, Choice, Vol. 46 (10), June, 2009)