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.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 686 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 33 mm
The book does an excellent job of both explaining and entertaining. The author makes you think about familiar subjects in a new way and is very good at filling in any gaps in your knowledge, while also pointing out those areas that need further research * Sky at Night Magazine *
A fascinating tour, seamlessly spliced and historically contexualised * Nature *
With captivating stories and his signature clarity, Ian Stewart shows us how math makes the world - and the rest of the universe - go round -- Steven Strogatz, Professor of Mathematics, Cornell University, and author of The Joy of X
Stewart is Britain's most brilliant and prolific populariser of maths. -- Alex Bellos
Stewart is sure to please math lovers, history buffs, and science enthusiasts alike by covering an array of eras, innovators, and disciplines. * Publishers Weekly *
Praise for previous books:
'This is not pure maths. It is maths contaminated with wit, wisdom, and wonder. Ian really is unsurpassed as raconteur of the world of numbers. He guides us on a mind-boggling journey from the ultra trivial to the profound. Thoroughly entertaining * New Scientist *
Stewart has served up the instructive equivalent of a Michelin-starred tasting menu, or perhaps a smorgasbord of appetisers. And of course, appetisers are designed to give you an appetite for more * Guardian *