Through a Universe Darkly: A Cosmic Tale of Ancient Ethers, Dark Matter, and the Fate of the Universe

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9780060183103: Through a Universe Darkly: A Cosmic Tale of Ancient Ethers, Dark Matter, and the Fate of the Universe
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Providing the history of astronomy from the ancient Greeks up to today, an award-winning science writer shows how the quest for dark matter is the latest step in the long evolution of our view of the cosmos. Conveying the exhilaration of discovery that has driven astronomers for centuries, the author interweaves history, scientific personalities, and philosophy in a story of the exploration of the universe's contents. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

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In 1988 in a playful article in the journal Nature , astrophysicists Joseph Silk and James Peebles "made book" on the then-current theories that might explain the Big Bang's missing mass. Given the huge gaps in theoretical astronomy that remain, theirs was not an unreasonable approach . In her much longer exegesis, science writer Bartusiak ( Thursday's Universe ) finds no odds-on winner, either. She offers a lively review of astronomers' struggle to find the stuff of the universe since Hubble. Sidelights on the quirks in the personal lives of 19th-century astronomers (the author is more discreet in her profiles of the living) interrupt the time line of the science. With the number of portraits and interviews here, the book would have been as appropriately subtitled Lives of the Astronomers. Illustrated.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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