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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
The Nine Numbers of the Cosmos
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on 17 April 2007
"The Nine Numbers of the Cosmos" is an excellent treatise on modern cosmology. It is relatively brief, but informative and to the point. Professor Rowan-Robinson writes clearly and often entertainingly. He generally gives exactly enough history and context to make his points clear to the informed (but not necessarily expert) reader.

Rowan-Robinson approaches his topic from an unusual angle: identifying nine cosmic parameters that (in his reasoned opinion) together characterise our universe. He then explains each parameter by considering its importance and its physical implications. He chose parameters that are "more or less" independent of one another. (Only time will tell how mutually independent they actually prove.)

I enjoyed the book. It was well thought through, the author knows his subject matter intimately and - above all - he writes as a true scientist, rather than as an ideologue with a Theory of Everything to peddle. If you're interested in cosmology, then you should definitely give this book a read.
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on 2 May 2001
Concise and clearly explained account of the current state of cosmology. After reading the book I scanned a number of scientific journals to find the issues raised in the book at the heart of current discussion. The central issues on the nature of the universe are clearly introduced with the minimum of waffle and even the more esoteric concepts are laid out in an understandable way. I approached the book with the idea of bringing myself up to date on the subject and was not disappointed. I do feel that a basic knowledge of physics & chemistry is necessary to fully appreciate what is being said, (but would you be interested in reading the book in the first place if you didn`t have this knowledge?).
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on 28 October 2007
Although written in 1999 this book was a clarifying reading. I am not going to say that I understood everything, but despite of that, I was able to grasp the author excitement about what we currently know about the universe and what to expect in the future, whether we conquer the knowledge of these numbers or not --- and the author is optimistic. It is difficult to swallow the bing bang, especially on what happened during the planck time and the succesive exponential expansion of the universe, but that is what physics theorist say was the likely beginning of the Universe, supported by the very well known temperature of the microwave background. One interesting number is the density of the universe because is one of the numbers that cannot be explained only by radio "visible" matter, so that is where dark matter (and dark energy) makes its appereance.

This is an interesting subject indeed, mainly because there are so many facts to learn, and perhaps correct on our actual knowledge, but we are advancing, new projects are in phase of construction, like the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and a bigger accelerator will be ready soon. We just have to wait to their results.
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