|Author||Donald W. Goldsmith and Dr. Donald Goldsmith|
Supernova stars observations in the end of 1990s suggest a nonzero Constant capable of accelerating universal expansion and validate inflationary model.
How true are determinations indicating the fifth significant break through in modern cosmology?
This work is a pure scientific report revolving essentially around two equations containing only two unknown parameters.
First equation is a sum: Density (of all types of matter in the Universe) + Constant (called Einstein's cosmological constant).
Second equation is just a difference between these two.
Density and Constant provide us with the view of our Universe and its current behavior. I enjoyed this book. It describes all-important practical ways used by scientists and astronomers to look into depth of our sky. Then it shows how the valuable information is extracted from observations. Knowing sum and a difference of Density and Constant allow us to calculate value of each single parameter separately. Simple isn't it?
But how accurate are the observations and what obstacles have to be overcome?
Read about it and you will know about history of modern observational cosmology and mysteries of our cosmos.
Certain sections of this book are more difficult and require extra focusing power to get by (for example: dependence of peak luminosity on light curve- for supernova observation or: how the curvature of space determines the angular size on which we now see the largest "surfaces of last scattering"-for cosmic background radiation study).
Do not get discouraged however, just glide through these parts and author will eventually clarify most of it later, leaving you with the good idea what has been tried to accomplish.
I am, and I have always been impressed by careers of top world-class astronomers, their knowledge, ability to design observational methods and skills for processing obtained spectra. Goldsmith gives many stories of dedication and determination, stories about geniuses contributing to total understanding of what Universe was and what will become.
You will find very little in this book about extra dimensions, falling into black holes, traveling in time, strings, TOE and other mumbo-jumbo theories existing only on paper. What we learn here is only about what we perceive and deduce from it.
"The Runaway Universe" is a great update on astronomy and astrophysics, compact and easy to read. Do not miss it if you like to be in space from time to time.