The Amazing Unity of the Universe

And Its Origin in the Big Bang

The author begins by describing how our knowledge about the position of Earth in space and time has developed, thanks to the work of many generations of astronomers and physicists. He also discusses how our position in the Galaxy was discovered, and how in 1929, Hubble uncovered the fact that the Universe is expanding, leading to the picture of the Big Bang. He then goes on to explain how astronomers discovered that the laws of physics that were discovered here on Earth and in the Solar System (the laws of mechanics, gravity, atomic physics, electromagnetism, etc.) are valid throughout the Universe, showing that all matter in the Universe consists of the same 92 elements that we know on Earth. This unity is all the more surprising when one recalls that in the original Big Bang theory, different parts of the Universe could never have communicated with each other, and it appeared then to be a mystery how they could have communicated the same physical laws to each other. This problem was solved by the introduction of the idea of Inflation, a phase of extremely rapid expansion of the Universe, during the first fraction of a second following the Big Bang: before this inflation, all parts of the Universe were in contact with each other. The book addresses the many fundamental questions about the Universe and its contents from the perspective of the unity of the Universe and the Big Bang: the formation of structure in the Universe in relation to the ripples observed in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR), the questions of dark matter and dark energy, the possibilities of other universes (the Multiverse) and the question of Intelligent Life elsewhere in the Universe.
Edward van den Heuvel received his the Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Utrecht in 1968. He worked at the University of California, Santa Cruz from 1968 to 1969, at the University of Utrecht from 1969 to 1974, and at the University of Brussels from 1970 to 1980. Since 1974 he has been Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Amsterdam and until 2005, Director of the Astronomical Institute there. He has been awarded the Physica Prize (the highest prize of the Netherlands Physical Society NNV), the Spinoza Prize (the highest science prize of the Netherlands) and the Descartes Prize (the highest science prize of the European Commission). Professor van den Heuvel was a Board Member and Chair of the Netherlands Space Research Organization, Chair of the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy, a Board Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, and the Founding Chair of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy. Professor van den Heuvel’s fields of expertise include stellar evolution, the physics of neutron stars and black holes, X-ray astronomy and radio pulsars.  
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Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 315
Erscheinungsdatum 27.07.2016
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-3-319-23542-4
Reihe Astronomers' Universe
Verlag Springer
Maße (L/B/H) 236/156/22 mm
Gewicht 0
Originaltitel Oerknal: Oorsprong van de eenheid van het heelal
Abbildungen 35 schwarz-weiße und 145 farbige Abbildungen, Bibliographie
Auflage 2. Auflage
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
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