This book explains in clear, non-mathematical language the measurements and the interpretation of the resulting data that have led to the current understanding of the origin, evolution and properties of our expanding Big Bang universe. Theoretical concepts are emphasized, but no other book for the layman explains how model universes are generated, and how they function as the templates against which ours is compared and analyzed. Background material is provided in the first four chapters; the current picture and how it was attained are discussed in the next four chapters; and some unsolved problems and conjectured solutions are explored in the final chapter.
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Until his retirement Professor Levin was a faculty member at Brown University, teaching a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate courses in physics and mathematics. Since retiring in 2001 he has taught adult education courses on cosmology and the universe (2002, 2003, and 2005), and on quantum ideas and phenomena (2004 and 2006). His publications include An Introduction to Quantum Theory (Cambridge, 2001/2002), co-editor with D. A. Micha, two volumes in the series, Finite Systems and Multiparticle Dynamics (Plenum): Vol. 1 Long Range Casimir Forces (1993); Vol. 2 Coulomb Interactions in Nuclear and Atomic Few-body Systems (1996).Review:
From the reviews:
"Levin (emer., Brown Univ.) has based his book on his lectures for adult education classes ... . Judicious use of numbers, equations, illustrations, and graphs help the reader understand the verbal descriptions. ... Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates; two-year technical program students." (M. Dickinson, CHOICE, Vol. 44 (9), May, 2007)
"For those wishing to learn more about the universe and its origins, a good place to begin is Frank Levin’s Calibrating the Cosmos. ... Levin makes far more use of charts and graphs to illustrate his discussion of astronomical concepts like the Hubble Constant. ... Calibrating the Cosmos aimed at a particular audience: people who don’t know much about cosmology, but who are relatively intelligent and motivated to learn." (Jeff Foust, The Space Review, June, 2007)
"Calibrating the Cosmos is the first in a series of Astronomers’ Universe titles that attempt to bring front-line astronomy research to the informed amateur astronomer and scientist. The aim is ambitious – to provide a quantitative yet descriptive account of the evolution of the Universe and its contents ... . The discussion is supported by an impressive array of appendices, chapter notes, a bibliography (including internet-based sources), a glossary, and symbol definitions! This book will serve best the keen amateur astronomer and scientist ... ." (Jon Willis, The Observatory, Vol. 127 (1200), October, 2007)
"American physicist Frank Levin has written a comprehensive and authoritative introduction to cosmology – the science that deals with the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe. Levin’s book is based on lectures he gave in several-adult education courses. ... we’d recommend ... to anyone who wants to get to grips with a weighty but rewarding subject." (Marcus Chown, BBC Sky at Night, May, 2007)
"Calibrating the Cosmos is the first volume in the new series from Springer called Astronomers Universe, intended for just about anyone with a measure of curiosity. ... With diagrams and even one or two colour photos the value is excellent and I can recommend it without reservation." (Bill Barlow, Astronomy Now, June, 2007)
"Frank Levin currently teaches cosmology to adults who lack the scientific and mathematical background that would usually be regarded as a sine qua non for anyone embarking on such a course of study. His latest book, Calibrating the Cosmos, grew out of this work and promises to bring the science of modern cosmology within reach of the lay reader." (Brendan K Ward, Astronomy and Space, October, 2007)
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