The State of the Universe: A Primer in Modern Cosmology

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More About This Title The State of the Universe: A Primer in Modern Cosmology


It is science's last and greatest challenge: fathoming the depths of the night sky. The objective: to crack the cosmic code, to unravel the blueprint for natures grandest conception, a machine constructed on an unimaginably vast scale the Universe itself. Vast and also complex Today's model of an expanding Universe the big bang cosmology is actually built on principles derived from a few simple mathematical equations. Gravity-warped space time, quantum mechanics, the physics of the subatomic these crucial insights, stemming from Einsteins revolutionary theories of relativity, have led to a simple and elegant framework within which the whole of the Universe, over billions of years, has been described. But recent evidence has begun to make wrinkles in the neat fabric of the big bang cosmology. There is now overwhelming evidence that there is far more stuff in the Universe than we can see. What, and where, is this dark matter? And it now appears that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating: something out there some exotic dark energy is acting against gravity to push space and time apart. While offering a critical view of how all the pieces in our current model fit together, Pedro Ferreira argues that Einsteins Universe may be just another stepping stone towards a new, more profound and effective cosmology in the future.


Pedro G. Ferreira is a Lecturer in Astrophysics at the University of Oxford and a Tutor and Fellow of Oriel College. He studied physics at the Technical University of Lisbon and obtained a doctorate from Imperial College, London in 1995. He was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 2000. Jem Finer is an artist, musician and composer living in London. From 2003 until 2005 he was artist in residence in the Astrophysics Department at the University of Oxford.