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The discovery of the expanding universe is one of the most exciting exploits in astronomy. This book explores its history, from the beginnings of modern cosmology with Einstein in 1917, through Lemaître’s discovery of the expanding universe in 1927 and his suggestion of a Big Bang origin, to Hubble’s contribution of 1929 and the subsequent years when Hubble and Humason provided the essential observations for further developing modern cosmology, and finally to Einstein’s conversion to the expanding universe in 1931. As a prelude the book traces the evolution of some of the notions of modern cosmology from the late Middle Ages up to the final acceptance of the concept of galaxies in 1925. Written in non-technical language, with a mathematical appendix, the book will appeal to scientists, students, and anyone interested in the history of astronomy and cosmology.Read more
- Charts the history of one of the major discoveries of astronomy - the expanding universe
- Explores the theory's development in the early twentieth century, from Einstein, through to Lemaître, Hubble and Humason
- Uses original sources and primary literature to shed new light on commonly held misconceptions
Reviews & endorsements
"...[the authors] take you line-by-line through some of the key papers by Albert Einstein. It's wonderful to have such expert guides. Though their book claims to be for the interested layperson, it will prove most valuable to Physics Today readers." - Robert Kirshner, Physics TodaySee more reviews
"Based on a close reading of original papers, this book is a pleasure to read and will be welcomed not only by professional scientists but also by amateurs. The mathematics is conveniently, and fittingly, removed to a masterly appendix." - William R. Shea, Nuncius: Journal of the History of Science
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- Date Published: April 2009
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521514842
- length: 244 pages
- dimensions: 254 x 178 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.65kg
- contains: 49 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
2. Cosmological concepts at the end of the Middle Ages
3. Nebulae as a new astronomical phenomenon
4. On the construction of the Heavens
5. Island universes turn into astronomical facts: a universe of galaxies
6. The early cosmology of Einstein and de Sitter
7. The dynamical universe of Friedmann
8. Redshifts: how to reconcile Slipher and de Sitter?
9. Lemaître discovers the expanding universe
10. Hubble's contribution of 1929
11. The breakthrough for the expanding universe
12. Hubble's anger about de Sitter
13. Robertson and Tolman join the game
14. The Einstein–de Sitter universe
15. Are Sun and Earth older than the universe?
16. In search of alternative tracks
17. The seed for the Big Bang
18. Summary and Postscript
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