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Einstein's Greatest Blunder? By Donald W. Goldsmith

Einstein's Greatest Blunder?

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Illustrated with photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, this book examines questions about the origin and evolution of the cosmos. The author has been awarded the 1995 American Astronomical Society's Annenberg Foundation Award for Education and the Klumpke-Roberts Prize.

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Einstein's Greatest Blunder? Summary


Einstein's Greatest Blunder?: The Cosomological Constant and Other Fudge Factors in the Physics of the Universe by Donald W. Goldsmith

"The Big Bang: A Big Bust?" The cosmos seems to be in crisis, and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see it. How, for instance, can the universe be full of stars far older than itself? How could space have once expanded faster than the speed of light? How can most of the matter in the universe be "missing"? And what kind of truly weird matter could possibly account for ninety percent of the universe's total mass? This brief and witty book, by the science writer Donald Goldsmith, takes on these and other key questions about the origin and evolution of the cosmos. By clearly laying out what we currently know about the universe as a whole, Goldsmith lets us see firsthand, and judge for ourselves, whether modern cosmology is in a state of crisis. "Einsten's Greatest Blunder?" puts the biggest subject of all - the story of the universe as scientists understand it - within the grasp of English-speaking earthlings. When Albert Einstein confronted a cosmological contradiction, in 1917, his solution was to introduce a new term, the "cosmological constant". For a time, this mathematical invention solved discrepancies between his model and the best observations available, but years later Einstein called it the "greatest blunder" of his career. And yet the cosmological constant is still alive today - it is one of the "fudge factors" employed by cosmologists to make their calculations fit the observational data. Theoretical cosmologists, shows Goldmith, continually reshape their models in an honest (if sometimes futile) effort to explain apparent chaos as cosmic harmony - whether their specific concern is the age and expansion rate of the cosmos, hot versus cold "dark matter", the inflationary theory of the big bang, the explanation of large-scale structure, or the density and future of the universe.

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Einstein's Greatest Blunder? Reviews


Donald Goldsmith is one of the world's great astronomy writers, and he shows why in his new book...The cosmological constant skewed Einstein's equations and prevented him from foreseeing one of the grandest discoveries ever: The cosmos is expanding. Goldsmith discusses this and many other cosmological topics in his typically wry style.--Keay Davidson "San Francisco Examiner "

Table of Contents


Alice's cosmic restaurant; gravity, motion and light; why stars shine; mapping the Milky Way; the discovery of universal expansion; looking for the Big Bang; walls of galaxies, fingers of God; the elusive age of the cosmos; an uncertain future; the inflationary theory; the mystery of the missing mass; in search of most of the universe; world enough and time; hot dark matter, cold dark matter, what's the matter.

Additional information

GOR001766771
Einstein's Greatest Blunder?: The Cosomological Constant and Other Fudge Factors in the Physics of the Universe by Donald W. Goldsmith
Donald W. Goldsmith
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Harvard University Press
1995-10-02
224
0674242416
9780674242418
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.