Cover

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Title page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

The unfolding story of modern cosmology, as it appears in the popular press, is often a simple linear parade of heroes whose achievements are presented as inevitable...

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xxiv

Cosmology, our study of the nature, formation, and evolution of the universe, has been transformed in an extraordinary fashion since the two authors of this book were students in...

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Prologue: From Myth to Reality

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pp. 1-26

When we look up at a clear, dark sky and are inspired with wonder and curiosity by the sight above us, we share a long and vibrant story with our ancestors—a quest to understand the nature, origin, and behavior of the glimmering...

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One: Einstein’s Toolkit, and How to Use It

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pp. 27-51

As the nineteenth century drew to a close and the new century dawned, an intellectual ferment spread across the disciplines comprising western culture. Art, music, literature, and science were radically transformed in the...

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Two: The Realm of the Nebulae

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pp. 52-88

The 1919 British eclipse expedition confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity, proving that theoretical astronomers had a toolkit they could use to investigate...

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Three: Let’s Do Cosmology!

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pp. 89-101

The fact that we live in an expanding universe had been amply confirmed. The implications for the future were obvious. But, what of the past? Were the arcane speculations of the...

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Four: Discovering the Big Bang

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pp. 102-129

In astrophysics the connections between the very small and the very large are intimate. Atoms are very small and are composed of a much smaller and extremely dense nuclear ball made up of neutrons and protons surrounded by...

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Five: The Origin of Structure in the Universe

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pp. 130-173

Until recently, astronomers had never asked the obvious question that philosophers had often asked. The German existentialist Martin Heidegger rated the question “Why is there something rather than nothing” as the most fundamental...

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Six: Dark Matter—or Fritz Zwicky’s Greatest Invention

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pp. 174-201

What is dark matter? Do we really need to believe in its existence, or is it simply the invention of excessively ingenious minds? We have had a rather casual introduction in the last chapter to...

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Seven: Dark Energy—or Einstein’s Greatest Blunder

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pp. 202-228

We start this chapter with a brief quotation from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This famous book is not just a novel for young children. It is a masterpiece of imaginative literature, with rich symbolism, coded...

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Eight: The Modern Paradigm and the Limits of Our Knowledge

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pp. 229-252

What do we know, what do we consider likely, what do we conjecture, and what is it that is frankly unknown to us at the present time? We will now put together the various pieces that have been introduced in...

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Nine: The Frontier: Major Mysteries That Remain

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pp. 253-262

By the normal standards of science, we have achieved an astonishing level of success in our search for a viable cosmology. We have an elegant new model that can address every well-defined question. When we build a...

Appendixes

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pp. 263-280

Glossary

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pp. 281-290

Bibliography

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pp. 291-294

Index

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pp. 295-300