The Big Bang

A View from the 21st Century

David M Harland

The Big Bang The Big Bang relates the development of two parallel strands of scientific thought, describing how particle physicists and cosmologists are working together to study the origin and evolution of the Universe. Physicists studying the subatomic realm concluded that fundamental particles are tiny vibrating strings and membranes, and that the forces of nature evolved as the Big Bang’s fireball cooled. Contrary to long-held belief, the expansion rate is not slowing down but accelerating, suggesting that an insight which Einstein dismissed as his "greatest blunder" might not have been so outlandish after all.

David Harland explains how ‘black holes’ were first theorised, and then identified in multiple-star systems and, on a much larger scale, in the cores of galaxies. Might what we perceive as the Big Bang have been the view from the inside of the creation of a black hole in another Universe?

"To be a cosmologist, you have to know particle physics" David Schramm

Perhaps "our universe is simply one of those things that happens from time to time" Edward Tryon, speaking of the Universe as a vacuum fluctuation

"The more the Universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless" Steven Weinberg

"String theory is a part of twenty-first century physics that fell by chance into the twentieth century" Edward Witten

Table of contents: PART I: A SENSE OF PERSPECTIVE
  1. In the centre of immensities
PART II: THE FORCES OF NATURE
  1. The mysterious aether
  2. The structure of the atom
  3. Nuclear forces
  4. Symmetries and phase changes
  5. Seeking a theory of everything
PART III: DISCOVERING THE UNIVERSE
  1. The spiral nebulae
  2. Cosmology
  3. Probing the furthest reaches
  4. Supermassive black holes
  5. Fitting the pieces together
  6. The Big Bang


Extent: 250 pages
Binding: paperback
Publication Date: Reprinted August 2005
ISBN: 978-1-85233-713-1



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