Wellesley: AK Peters, Ltd., 2003. - 323p.What shape is the universe? Is it curved and closed in on itself? Is it expanding? Where is it headed? Could space be wrapped around itself, such that it produces ghost images of faraway galaxies? Such are the questions posed by Jean-Pierre Luminet in The Wraparound Universe, which he then addresses in clear and accessible language. An expert in black holes and the big bang, he leads us on a voyage through the surprising byways of space-time, where possible topologies of the universe, explorations of the infinite, and cosmic mirages combine their mysterious traits and unlock the imagination. The Wraparound Universe is a general-audience book about the overall topology or shape of the universe. The central question addressed is whether it is possible that the universe is wrapped around in an interesting way, and what impact this would have on astronomical observations and our understanding of cosmology. Along the way many of the general features and much of the history of the modern picture of cosmology are discussed.Contents:Preface to the English Edition Reading GuideThe Shape of SpaceThe Universal Mollusk The Size of Space The Hall of Mirrors The Four Scales of Geometry Absolute or Relative Space? Celestial Mirages Black Hole Foam, Strings, and Loops From Relativity to the Big Bang What is the Curvature of the Universe? Open or Closed? The Knowledge of Places From the Cylinder to the Pretzel Fascinating Shapes Topology and Relativity Small, Strange Universes Topological Mirage Hunting for Ghosts Midnight Suns Cosmic Crystallography Circles in the Sky Inflation, the Infinite, and the Folds MayaFolds in the UniverseA Brief History of Space The Edge Paradox The Dark Night Paradox Non-Euclidean Geometries Cosmos and Logos Cosmic Questions Expansion and the Infinite Galaxies in Flight The Rate of Expansion The Age of the Universe Astronomical Distances Cosmic Mathematics Cosmic Repulsion Dark Matter The Cosmic Microwave Background Is the Universe Flat? Symmetry Polyhedra The Classification of Surfaces The Classification of Three-Dimensional Spaces Topos and Cosmos Afterword: Listening to the Cosmic DrumBibliography
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