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8 - Time and Cosmology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2018

Dennis D. McCarthy
Affiliation:
United States Naval Observatory
P. Kenneth Seidelmann
Affiliation:
University of Virginia
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Summary

Significant developments in cosmology and the determination of the age and scale of the universe occurred during the 20th century. The aspect of time in cosmology from the big bang to the expanding universe is considered. According to some physicists, time can proceed in either a forward or backward direction, but the second law of thermodynamics requires entropy to increase with time. Objects seen at great distance display a redshift due to their relative velocity away from Earth that increases with distance, which argues for the expansion of the universe. The history of a universe consisting of matter, radiation, and energy is developed, and possibilities for the future of the universe are considered.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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