Ian Stewart's up-to-the-minute guide to the cosmos moves from the formation of the Earth and its Moon to the planets and asteroids of the solar system and from there out into the galaxy and the universe. He describes the architecture of space and time, dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies form, why stars implode, how everything began, and how it will end. He considers parallel universes, what forms extra-terrestrial life might take, and the likelihood of Earth being hit by an asteroid. Mathematics, Professor Stewart shows, has been the driving force in astronomy and cosmology since the ancient Babylonians. He describes how Kepler's work on planetary orbits led Newton to formulate his theory of gravity, and how two centuries later irregularities in the motion of Mars inspired Einstein's theory of general relativity. In crystal-clear terms he explains the fundamentals of gravity, spacetime, relativity and quantum theory, and shows how they all relate to each other. Eighty years ago the discovery that the universe is expanding led to the Big Bang theory of its origins. This in turn led cosmologists to posit features such as dark matter and dark energy. But does dark matter exist? Could another scientific revolution be on the way to challenge current scientific orthodoxy? These are among the questions Ian Stewart raises in his quest through the realms of astronomy and cosmology.
Combining philosophy, science, and literature, Mythic Worlds and the One You Can Believe In examines lingering misconceptions of world history as a continuing source of international tension. Awareness of the natural continuum, currently gauged at some 13.8 billion years overall, disarms sectarian zealotry and, in retrospect, explains some of the difficulties the literary and philosophical traditions have had in accommodating their beliefs to what undeniably exists. To this day, beliefs incompatible with natural history continue to intensify nationalism and support terrorist movements. As a work mainly in natural philosophy, this book uses the consensus natural continuum to critique the more prominent and durable misconceptions.
The bubbles were swirling all around me, massaging my body. As I luxuriated in this fantastic bath, I gasped realizing that those bubbles carried with them miniature galaxies bringing the entire Cosmos into my bathtub... Alfie is back. And so are George and other characters from the author’s previous book Einstein’s Enigma or Black Holes in My Bubble Bath. While the present book, Universe Unveiled - The Cosmos in My Bubble Bath, is completely independent, its storyline can be considered a sequel to the previous one. The scientific content spanning ancient world models to the most recent mysteries of cosmology is presented in an entirely nontechnical and descriptive style through the discussions between Alfie, the enlightened learner, and George, professor of astrophysics. Fantasies, based on these discussions that cover the scientific facts, are created by the magical bubble baths taken by Alfie. Universe Unveiled blends accurate science with philosophy, drama, humour, and fantasy to create an exciting cosmic journey that reads like a novel and educates as it entertains. “Spurred by a series of mind-bending discoveries, Man’s millennial love affair with the stars has now reached fever pitch. No one writing today is better positioned to evoke the romance and beauty of these cosmic discoveries than Vishveshwara. A leading expert in Einstein’s relativity theory, he brings a lyrical voice and a poetic sensibility to this joyful task. Universe Unveiled, a unique literary creation, transports readers into believing they can actually hear the music of the spheres.” Professor Robert Fuller, Former President, Oberlin College (USA) Author of Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank
Praise for A. K. Dewdney Yes, We Have No Neutrons "We need more books like this-especially if they're this much fun to read." -Wired "Dewdney manages to make this catalog of error entertaining as well as instructive; good medicine for both skeptics and true believers." -Kirkus Reviews "Written with wit and a touch of pathos-and sure to please science lovers." -Publishers Weekly 200% of Nothing "It is impossible to read this timely, important book without enjoyment and eye-opening enlightenment." -Martin Gardner "An entertaining, stinging expos?." -Publishers Weekly
This stress-free layperson's introduction to the intriguing world of numbers is designed to acquaint the general reader with the elegance and wonder of mathematics. Unlike the typical boot-camp experience of a high school or college calculus course, Jefferson Hane Weaver's approach is more like a relaxing and educational walking tour. Along the way, tour-guide Weaver points out, explains, and invites readers to sample some of the most interesting topics. Even the most math-phobic among us will be lulled into appreciation by Weaver's creative and disarming discussions of this supposedly formidable intellectual discipline. He covers all the basics: irrational and imaginary numbers, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, differential and integral calculus, the concepts of zero and infinity, vectors, set theory, chance and probability, and much more. In conclusion, he provides five fascinating historical profiles, reviewing the life and work of Copernicus, Descartes, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton. More than anyone else, these five geniuses were responsible for creating the mathematical foundations of the physical sciences, which continue to make possible extraordinary discoveries and technological achievements. This enjoyable volume gives readers a working knowledge of math's most important concepts, an appreciation of its elegant logical structure, and an understanding of its historical significance in creating our contemporary world.