The Edge of Physics
Dispatches from the Frontiers of Cosmology
Why is the universe’s expansion speeding up? What is ‘dark matter’? Are there other universes besides our own? This book follows the author’s travels in search of experiments taking place in the planet’s most inhospitable locations to answer such cosmological questions. It explains not only the theory, aims and practicalities of each cutting-edge project but also the challenges facing researchers, whether they are working deep inside an abandoned iron mine or at the top of Hawaii’s highest mountain.
William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse
Astronomy and the Castle in Nineteenth-Century Ireland
Sir William Parsons (1800–1867) of Birr Castle built what was for 70 years the world’s largest telescope (‘the Leviathan’). In a series of ten essays, this volume examines the life of Parsons, the ‘consummate engineer’, and his work in astronomical science.
A More Perfect Heaven
How Copernicus Revolutionised the Cosmos
In 1510, Copernicus had begun to formulate the theory that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the centre of our universe. The theory was potentially heretical and not until 1539, when a young German mathematician named Rheticus sought him out, was Copernicus persuaded to publish On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres. Dava Sobel tells the story of the great astronomer, and where the evidence runs out, she imagines the meeting between Rheticus and the older scientist.
Zoom: How Everything Moves
From Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees
Why does it take so long for thick ice to form? How slowly do stalactites grow? How much lower is a bee's buzz than a mosquito's? Why can we see the flicker in old silent movies? The answers to such questions are revealed as astronomer Bob Berman explains the myriad movements that shape the universe, from the Sombrero Galaxy, which speeds away from us at 562 miles per second, to the oscillations of water molecules.
Stories in the Stars
An Atlas of Constellations
‘Lying on our backs, we look up at the night sky. This is where stories began’ (John Berger). Drawing on folk and literary traditions of many cultures, this book retells some of the myriad myths and legends inspired by the stars. From Andromeda to Vulpecula (the ‘Little Fox’), each constellation’s story is accompanied by an illustration and a celestial map that shows adjacent constellations and the apparent magnitude of each star as seen from Earth. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.