There are many books that describe what we know of the past of the Universe, beginning with the Big Bang. But what of its future?
It is only in recent years that astronomers and cosmologists have come to any kind of consensus about the probable history of the universe, so have been relatively few books speculating about its future evolution. What will happen to the Earth and solar system? What about our galaxy? Indeed, how long will the universe as we recognize it survive?
The Future of the Universe takes the reader on a journey through space and time, beginning with a long look at the Earth and solar system, voyaging to the outermost galaxies, and finishing with speculations about the life and fate of the entire universe.
From the reviews: "A. J. Meadow's Future of the Universe tracks not only the plan of the cosmos as a whole, but a host of futures. ! Overall ! I can easily recommend this book. It's not only about the future -- it's a good primer on just about everything." (Rebecca Johnson, Sky & Telescope, August, 2007) "The book reads easily and the language is simple. ! the reader is left not only with a good clear picture of the past, present, and future of the relevant subject but also looking forward to the next instalment. ! a satisfying and thought-provoking review of current cosmology, informative for the layman and capable by its brevity of inspiring some degree of lateral thinking for the serious astronomer. It has nine colour plates, an index, and advice for further reading, and I recommend it unreservedly." (Colin Cooke, The Observatory, Vol. 127 (1200), October, 2007) "The future of everything, from the Earth to the entire Universe. ! this book covers a huge range of speculations about the future of our Universe and its contents -- particularly the Earth -- in one volume. That, in itself, makes the Future Of The Universe a notable work. Dealing with the long-term fate of the Universe, this work deals with scenarios, such as the Big Rip, in which runaway expansion tears creation to shreds. These sections are well written ! . A fascinating book. " (Marcus Chown, BBC Sky at Night, May, 2007) "This book is a popular text about the future of the Universe. Its author was of astronomy and history of science, and so he is able to present very carefully chosen questions, where one is able to give realistic answers ! . it also serves as very well founded source of knowledge about the present state of the solar system: the development of the sun and the planets, their magnetic fields, the conditions for a possible development of life at other planets etc." (Hans-Jurgen Schmidt, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1106 (8), 2007) "In this welcome addition to the 'Astronomer's Universe' series, Meadows, retired professor of astronomy and the history of science (Loughborough Univ., UK), offers a well-documented book taking readers on a fascinating journey through space and time, with time and distance measured on a scale of millions, billions, and trillions. ! Nine color plates depict dramatic images; bibliographic sources are arranged by chapter to better facilitate readers seeking additional information on topics of interest. Summing Up: Recommended. General reader; lower-division undergraduates through professionals." (R. C. Jackman, CHOICE, Vol. 44 (11), August, 2007)
The Heat of the Sun.- The Mobile Earth.- The Earth?s Oceans and Atmosphere.- The Magnetic Earth and Magnetic Sun.- Impact.- The Solar System.- Our Galaxy.- Clusters of Galaxies.- The Fate of the Universe.
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Jack Meadows was formerly Professor of Astronomy and of the History of Science at Leicester University, UK. He is now Emeritus Professor of Information Science at Loughborough University, UK.