Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Universe Today
Cosmos Magazine
Sue Bowler

Joseph Silk

On the Shores of the Unknown

What we hear about the universe can sometimes seem a bit unlikely, with most of it being in the form of unseen matter and energy. In On the Shores of the Unknown: A Short History of the Universe Joseph Silk demonstrates that the evidence is stronger than you might think. He describes how the fluctuations in the Cosmological Microwave Background impose constraints on the nature of the cosmos, but goes on to look at several other discoveries which support the cosmologists models. In particular he examines what theories of galaxy formation can tell us about the large scale nature of universe.

Silk is an expert in the subject of cosmology, but this is a non-technical book - there is no mathematics in it, and you don't need to have studied physics to follow the arguments. However I wouldn't recommend it to someone who hasn't read any other books on cosmology as I feel that its rather rough-and-ready - the material isn't really presented in a way that could be followed easily by a complete beginner. On the other hand, if you have read several popular science books on cosmology, but are beginning wonder why we should give any more credence to professional cosmologists than to any other people's ideas, then this book will give you plenty of useful information.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 254 pages  
ISBN: 0521836271
Salesrank: 1366268
Weight:1.46 lbs
Published: 2005 Cambridge University Press
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 254 pages  
ISBN: 0521836271
Salesrank: 1361120
Weight:1.46 lbs
Published: 2005 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price £35.99
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 254 pages  
ISBN: 0521836271
Salesrank: 1446947
Weight:1.46 lbs
Published: 2005 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price CDN$ 53.41
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 30.75:Used from CDN$ 0.76
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Product Description
Astronomer Joseph Silk explores the Universe from its beginnings to its ultimate fate. He demonstrates how cosmologists study cosmic fossils and relics from the distant past to construct theories of the birth, evolution and future of the Universe. Stars, galaxies, dark matter and dark energy are described, as successive chapters detail the evolution of the Universe from a fraction of a microsecond after the Big Bang. Silk describes how physicists apply theories of subatomic particles to recreate the first moments of the Big Bang, and how astronomers chart the vast depths of space to glimpse how the most distant galaxies formed. He gives an account of the search for dark matter and the dark energy that will determine the ultimate fate of the Universe. Joseph Silk is the Savilian Professor of Astronomy and Head of the Astrophysics Department at the University of Oxford. He was previously Professor of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a BA in Mathematics from Clare College, Cambridge, and a PhD in Astronomy from Harvard University. Silk is the author, or co-author, of many books, including The Left Hand of Creation (Basic Books, 1994) and A Short History of the Universe (WH Freeman, 1997). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.