Show Book List

Buy from Amazon

B Bertotti,R Balbinot and S Bergia

Modern cosmology in retrospect

In the 20th century cosmology advanced from the realm of speculation to a precise science. Modern cosmology in retrospect contains talks from a 1988 meeting looking back at the development of cosmology. However, it differs from many other works on the history of science in that several of the key players in that development were present at the conference. The talks are not particularly technical, so anyone with a grounding in the subject should be able to follow the talks. (On the other hand, it is experts talking to experts, rather than one author writing for a general readership). Overall it is a very valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of cosmology, and how the disputes in the subject were resolved.

One sees two main areas of twentieth century cosmology. Firstly there is the work of the 1920's and 1930's when the predictions of Einstein's general theory of relativity were being worked out, while observations were beginning to show the expansion of the universe. The book contains a talk by William McCrea, who was active during this time and reports on the work of cosmologists such as Eddington and Milne. The second area is the debate between the big bang and steady state cosmologies which took place in the 1950's and 1960's. The book has details of the discovery of the microwave background, and of the measurements of elemental abundances, which supported the big bang, as well as a talk by Fred Hoyle on the development of the steady state theory.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews