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The Cosmic Century
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Book description

The twentieth century witnessed the development of astrophysics and cosmology from subjects which scarcely existed to two of the most exciting and demanding areas of contemporary scientific inquiry. In this book Malcolm Longair reviews the historical development of the key areas of modern astrophysics, linking the strands together to show how they have led to the extraordinarily rich panorama of modern astrophysics and cosmology. While many of the great discoveries were derived from pioneering observations, the emphasis is upon the development of theoretical concepts and how they came to be accepted. These advances have led astrophysicists and cosmologists to ask some of the deepest questions about the nature of our Universe and have pushed astronomical observations to the very limit. This is a fantastic story, and one which would have defied the imaginations of even the greatest storytellers.

Reviews

'Little of astrophysics and cosmology escapes the gaze of Longair … Readers, especially those already familiar with many of the topics, will enjoy his prose. Certainly all graduate students in the field should read this book. And anyone interested in the history of science would enjoy it as bedside reading if they were willing to skip the equations.'

Jay M. Pasachoff Source: Nature

'I can envisage this book being useful to physicists from other areas of specialization, who would like an overview of astrophysics and cosmology, or for workers in one of these areas who want to broaden their horizons. It could also be a text for graduate students in astronomy, astrophysics or astrophysical cosmology, who want a synoptic overview of these areas … the book … clearly separates speculation from well-established theory … a sound work that will be well appreciated.'

George Ellis Source: Nature Physics

'The astrophysical equivalent to Gombrich's Story of Art … Written with grace, clarity and formidable knowledge, this is simply a book that every serious student of astrophysics must have.'

Source: Astronomy Now

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