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From time immemorial, poets and philosophers have looked in awe and wonder at the Universe. Such awe is shared by astrophysicists, too, as they seek to understand its nature, and whether it has any limits. In "The Infinite Cosmos", Joseph Silk, Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford University, cosmologist and well-known science writer, brings together the modern understanding of the Universe, its structure, its evolution, and its possible fate, combining the latest from theory and observation. The narrative is peppered with quotations from literature and philosophy, and reflects, too, on the process of scientific discovery, and the implications of our discoveries.
1. Introduction; 2. Perspectives; 3. Principles; 4. Our neighbourhood; 5. The universe of galaxies; 6. The invisible cosmos; 7. Supermassive black holes and the birth of galaxies; 8. Clusters and clustering; 9. Space is nearly flat; 10. Dark energy and the runaway universe; 11. The panacea of cold dark matter; 12. From time to time machines; 13. Origins; 14. The seeds of structure; 15. Beyond the beginning; 16. Towards the infinite universe; 17. Into the infinite future; 18. And so to God; 19. Conclusion; 20. Glossary; 21. Index
This book packs so much into a decidedly finite space. Silk covers everything you might hope to find in a book by one of the world's leading cosmologists, and much more besides... Accessible and informative. Peter Coles, Nature This is an outstanding work, suited to readers of all ages and all backgrounds, and is recommended without the slightest hesitation. Patrick Moore, THES accessible and informative Peter Coles, Nature