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Joseph Silk

The infinite cosmos

I'm not particularly keen on blogs - I prefer what I read to be more structured. This probably means that I'm not the best person to review Silk's new book, as at times it seemed to lack structure in the same way as a blog. There didn't seem to be any central thread to lead the reader through the book, and the author sometimes seemed to be repeating himself. On the other hand he is an expert in the field and it is clear that he has thought about the things he is writing about, so if you don't mind the style of writing you might consider reading this book.

I wouldn't recommend the book to the complete beginner in cosmology, who I feel would need a more structured account of the subject. Also the book lacks any suggestions for follow-up reading. But if you have already learnt a bit about cosmology, then this book is very useful in giving an overview of recent ideas in the subject. The recent observations of the Cosmological Microwave Background are described, and Silk shows what these observations can tell us about the clumping of matter in the universe, as well as giving information on whether the universe is finite or not. Towards the end the book gets more speculative, looking at the possibility of time travel, and the future of life in the universe.

Product Description
From time immemorial, poets and philosophers have looked in awe and wonder at the Universe. Such awe is shared by astrophysicists, too as they seek to understand its nature, and whether it has any limits. In he Infinite Cosmos, Joseph Silk, Savillian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford University, cosmologist and well-known science writer, brings together the modern understanding of the Universe, its structure, its evolution, and its possible fate, combining the latest from theory and observation. The narrative is peppered with quotations from literature and philosophy, and reflects too on the process of scientific discovery and the implications of our discoveries.