Institute of Physics Publishing, 2003. — 397 p.With stunning regularity, the search for our cosmic roots has been yielding remarkable new discoveries about the universe and our place in it. In his compelling book, Origins: The Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, veteran science journalist Tom Yulsman chronicles the latest discoveries and describes in clear and engaging terms what they mean. From the interior of protons to the outer reaches of the universe, and from the control room of one of the world's most powerful particle accelerators to an observatory atop the tallest mountain in the Pacific basin, Yulsman takes readers on a fantastic voyage at the cutting edge of science. How could the universe have sprouted from absolute nothingness? What is the origin of galaxies? How do stars and planets form? And despite what now seem to be incredible odds, how did Earth come to be a rich oasis of biodiversity-one that has given rise to a species intelligent enough to ask these questions? In laying out the answers, Origins addresses some of the most profound issues humans have ever confronted.Contents Preface Prologue: A universe from nothing? Spacetime: The Cosmic Stage Cosmic Casino: The Realm of the Quantum Hot Big Bang: Producing the Primordial Soup Inflating the Universe: It Takes GUTs The Galactic Cobweb: and the Multiverse Paradigm Shift: Inflation Checks Out Before Inflation: The Pea, the Brane, & the Search for the Ultimate Beginning Prologue: Fossils from Space Interstellar Ecology: Cycles of Birth, Death and Rebirth A Star is Born: Prelude to Planets Solar Systems: From Rococo Clockwork to Extrasolar Planets Pebbles to Planets: The Origin of the Solar System To Life: The Organic Soup Kitchen Afterword: Cosmology and Environmentalism Notes Index
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