Measuring the Cosmos: How Scientists Discovered the Dimensions of the Universe

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9780813534046: Measuring the Cosmos: How Scientists Discovered the Dimensions of the Universe
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Humans have always viewed the heavens with wonder and awe. The skies have inspired reflection on the vastness of space, the wonder of creation, and humankind’s role in the universe. In just over one hundred years, science has moved from almost total ignorance about the actual distances to the stars and earth’s place in the galaxy to our present knowledge about the enormous size, mass, and age of the universe. We are reaching the limits of observation, and therefore the limits of human understanding. Beyond lies only our imagination, seeded by the theories of physics. In Measuring the Cosmos, science writers David and Matthew Clark tell the stories of both the well-known and the unsung heroes who played key roles in these discoveries. These true accounts reveal ambitions, conflicts, failures, as well as successes, as the astonishing scale and age of the universe were finally established.  Few areas of scientific research have witnessed such drama in the form of ego clashes, priority claims, or failed (or even falsified) theories as that resulting from attempts to measure the universe. Besides giving credit where long overdue, Measuring the Cosmos explains the science behind these achievements in accessible language sure to appeal to astronomers, science buffs, and historians.

 

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About the Author:

David H. Clark, Director of Research and Innovation at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK, is the author of several popular books on science and astronomy, including Newton’s Tyranny, Aliens: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, The Cosmos from Space, and The Quest for SS433. Matthew D. H. Clark, David’s eldest son, teaches classics and ancient history at Shrewsbury School, Shropshire, England.

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From the Greek thinkers to modern astronomers using the sharpest tools of today's technology, Measuring the Cosmos shows how we've learned mankind is not at the center of things, but located on one small planet circling an ordinary star at the outskirts of the Milky Way in a large expanding, accelerating universe of galaxies. The Clarks are expert guides on this journey of exploration. (Robert P. Kirshner author of The Extravagent Universe: Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Accele)

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9780813536460: Measuring the Cosmos : How Scientists Discovered the Dimensions of the Universe / David H. Clark and Matthew D. H. Clark

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ISBN 10:  0813536464 ISBN 13:  9780813536460
Publisher: New Brunswick N. J. : Rutgers Un..., 2004
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