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Discovering the Expanding Universe

Details

  • 49 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 246 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.65 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 523.109
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: QB981 .N865 2009
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Cosmology--History
    • Expanding universe

Library of Congress Record

Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521514842)

Discovering the Expanding Universe
Cambridge University Press
9780521514842 - Discovering the Expanding Universe - By Harry Nussbaumer and Lydia Bieri
Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgements
ix
Foreword
xi
1             Introduction
1
2             Cosmological concepts at the end of the Middle Ages
5
The spherically closed universe of antiquity and the Middle Ages
6
Cusanus and his universe without centre or boundary
10
A warning by the Church
13
Copernicus and the question of an infinite universe
14
Thomas Digges: How far do stars extend?
15
A crucial step in observational techniques
16
Kepler’s finite universe and Galileo’s telescope
17
Descartes: An evolving universe
21
Newton’s Principia and Bentley’s sermon
24
3             Nebulae as a new astronomical phenomenon
27
Early reports on nebulae
27
Edmond Halley on several nebulae or lucid spots like clouds
29
The universes of Wright, Kant and Laplace
31
4             On the construction of the heavens
35
Herschel confirms and then rejects island universes
35
The Leviathan of William Parsons, the Earl of Rosse
40
Huggins applies spectroscopy on nebulae
42
On the spectrum of the great nebula in Andromeda
45
5             Island universes turn into astronomical facts: A universe of galaxies
46
Kapteyn’s Galaxy
47
Shapley’s changing view of the Milky Way
48
Slipher favours island universes
56
Curtis and his novae
57
Was there a villain in the game?
58
The Great Debate
59
Öpik finds the distance to Andromeda
60
Hubble cuts the Gordian knot
60
6             The early cosmology of Einstein and de Sitter
63
Some fundamental relations
65
The static universe of Einstein
72
The static universe of de Sitter
76
De Sitter’s Trojan horse
77
No energy conservation in relativistic cosmology!
85
Schwarzschild’s vision of curved space
87
7             The dynamical universe of Friedmann
88
An alternative to Einstein and de Sitter
89
Einstein’s rejection
92
8             Redshifts: How to reconcile Slipher and de Sitter?
93
Redshifts
93
Distances
95
Early interpretation of redshifts
96
9             Lemaître discovers the expanding universe
99
Lemaître, a student of Eddington and research fellow in Shapley’s group
99
Doubts about de Sitter’s choice of coordinates
101
The discovery of the expanding universe
103
The derivation of the linear velocity–distance relationship
106
Lemaître determines the ‘Hubble constant’ from observations
108
Lemaître’s interpretation of theory and observations
109
Lemaître’s debt to Friedmann
110
Einstein judges Lemaître’s interpretation as ‘abominable’
111
10            Hubble’s contribution of 1929
114
Hubble finds the linear velocity–distance relationship from observations
115
Hubble’s interpretation of the velocity–distance relationship
117
What was Hubble’s motive for his 1929 investigation?
117
The reception of Hubble’s discovery
118
Hubble and the expansion of the Universe
119
11            The breakthrough for the expanding universe
121
The Friday, 10 January 1930 meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society
121
Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington
124
The spreading of the gospel
125
12            Hubble’s anger about de Sitter
129
De Sitter’s check on Hubble
129
Hubble’s angry letter
130
Hubble and Humason enlarge the sample
134
13            Robertson and Tolman join the game
137
Robertson starts from first principles
137
Tolman and the annihilation of matter
139
Weyl’s brief return to cosmology
142
14            The Einstein–de Sitter universe
144
Einstein’s conversion
144
Einstein and de Sitter agree on the structure of the Universe
149
Eddington’s ‘after dinner speech’
152
15            Are the Sun and Earth older than the Universe?
153
The age of the Universe deduced from the expansion rate
153
The age of the Earth
154
The age of the Sun and the stars
154
Baade and Sandage drastically reduce the Hubble constant
156
16            In search of alternative tracks
157
Zwicky and the gravitational drag
157
Milne’s static Euclidean space
158
The Steady State alternative
161
17            The seed for the Big Bang
164
Expansion out of Einstein’s static state
165
Expansion out of a primeval atom: The ancestor of the Big Bang
166
A case for the cosmological constant
168
Is there a beginning to the Universe?
169
Is the Big Bang the origin, or a transition in a cyclic universe?
170
Dark energy: Lemaître equates the cosmological constant Λ with vacuum energy
171
18            Summary and Postscript
173
A brief recollection
173
The birth of modern cosmology
174
How different is today’s cosmology
177
A glass of port
186
Mathematical Appendix
188
1             Chapter 6: The early cosmology of Einstein and de Sitter
188
Some fundamental relations
188
The static universe of Einstein
193
The static universe of de Sitter
195
De Sitter’s Trojan horse
196
2             Chapter 7: The dynamical universe of Friedmann
197
3             Chapter 9: Lemaître’s discovery of the expanding universe
198
Doubts about de Sitter’s choice of coordinates
198
The discovery of the expanding universe
199
4             Chapter 13: Robertson and Tolman join the game
201
Robertson starts from first principles
201
Tolman and the annihilation of matter
203
5             Chapter 14: The Einstein–de Sitter universe
204
6             Today’s presentation of fundamental cosmological relations
205
Abbreviations
209
References
210
Index
220



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