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The Universe Before the Big Bang: Cosmology and String Theory (Astronomers' Universe) Hardcover – 20 Aug 2008

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2008 edition (20 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3540744193
  • ISBN-13: 978-3540744191
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,868,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


From the reviews:

What happens to the big bang singularity within string theory? Did time have a beginning? These and other pre-eminent questions, whose implications go far beyond the boundaries of physics and even of science, lie at the forefront of today's research in theoretical particle physics and cosmology. Maurizio Gasperini succeeds in this book in drawing a thorough - yet very accessible and captivating - panorama of the various answers that have so far emerged to those basic questions, and of the cosmological observations which may soon allow a stringent test of our most advanced theoretical ideas.

Gabriele Veneziano, Co-founder of String Theory

"Gasperini … describes how string theory can be used to describe a pre-big-bang era that gives birth to a big bang, resolving dilemmas of standard cosmology and predicting a testable remnant of gravitational radiation that should pervade the universe now. … Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates." (M. Dickinson, Choice, Vol. 46 (7), March, 2009)

"This book is both lucid and comprehensive. … the book’s basic material derives from the author’s university lectures and seminars, its stated aim now is to make the topic accessible to a readership with typically no more than a knowledge of high-school physics. … If you are interested in what String Theory has to offer cosmology, and are prepared to put some effort into finding out … this could be a useful text for you." (Dave Pike, The Observatory, Vol. 129 (1210), June, 2009)

"This book grew out of a series of lectures and seminars held over several years in various Italian universities. … The book is addressed, in particular, to all those readers with at least a basic knowledge of physics … but not necessarily equipped with an academic scientific background. … this book is detailed enough to enable the reader to understand the most recent cosmological models, the key underlying ideas and how they can be tested using the experimental tools provided by current technology." (Roland Carchon, Belgian Physical Society Magazine, Issue 2, June, 2009)

From the Back Cover

Terms such as "expanding Universe", "big bang", and "initial singularity", are nowadays part of our common language. The idea that the Universe we observe today originated from an enormous explosion (big bang) is now well known and widely accepted, at all levels, in modern popular culture. But what happens to the Universe before the big bang? And would it make any sense at all to ask such a question? In fact, recent progress in theoretical physics, and in particular in String Theory, suggests answers to the above questions, providing us with mathematical tools able in principle to reconstruct the history of the Universe even for times before the big bang.

In the emerging cosmological scenario the Universe, at the epoch of the big bang, instead of being a "new born baby" was actually a rather "aged" creature in the middle of its possibly infinitely enduring evolution. The aim of this book is to convey this picture in non-technical language accessible also to non-specialists. The author, himself a leading cosmologist, draws attention to ongoing and future observations that might reveal relics of an era before the big bang.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I find this book to be an excellent introduction to the subject matter. This is very heady stuff, and requires a certain ability to think both abstract and complex. To get the theories of the relevant subjects down to an understandable level is no small achievement. So many other books that tries to "popularize" modern cosmology takes the simplification too far. This, however, keeps at a level where the reader may actually learn something.

Certainly, this is not a book for the layman. Some knowledge of university math and relativity theory is helpful to get a full understanding of the contents of this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading the literature for this book one gets the impression that your average amateur enthusiast would be able to understand the contents. I have read many books on cosmology for the amateur and this book is beyond my grasp. Suggest you be careful if considering buying this book. There are reference to physics theories, which are not explained, to enable the reader to grasp the particular aspect of he book being discussed.
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