By Charles Seife
From the writer of deciphering the Universe and Zero
Humankind has grappled for millennia with the elemental questions of the foundation and finish of the universe—it used to be a spotlight of historical religions and myths and of the inquiries of Aristotle, Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton. this day we're on the breaking point of discoveries that are supposed to quickly demonstrate the inner most secrets and techniques of the universe.
Alpha and Omega is a dispatch from front traces of the cosmological revolution that's being waged at observatories and laboratories round the world-in Europe, in the United States, or even in Antarctica—where scientists are literally peering into either the cradle of the universe and its grave. Scientists—including galaxy hunters and microwave eavesdroppers, gravity theorists and atom smashers, all of whom are at the path of darkish subject, darkish strength, and the becoming population of the particle zoo-now know the way the universe will finish and are on the point of knowing its starting. Their findings could be one of the maximum triumphs of technological know-how, even towering above the decoding of the human genome. this is often the e-book you must support comprehend the widespread front-page headlines heralding dramatic cosmological discoveries. It makes state-of-the-art technological know-how either crystal transparent and fantastically interesting.
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Additional resources for Alpha and Omega: The Search for the Beginning and End of the Universe
His father had captured the city of Samarkand and gave it to Ulugh Beg. e. In fact his principal interest was astrology, rather than the furtherance of science. He produced a horoscope that predicted that his eldest son, Abd al Latif, would kill him. In an attempt to escape this destiny, he banished his son from the kingdom. The disgruntled son initiated a rebellion against his father, whom he ordered to be killed (thus fulﬁlling the father’s prognostication) . As the successor ruler, Abd al Latif destroyed much of the cultural infrastructure his father had put in place, which he perceived as having been used against him.
He made an excellent estimate of the tropic year as 365 days, 5 hours, 55 minutes, and 12 seconds. ) Certainly Babylonian calculations by astronomers such as Naburiannu (ﬂ. ) and Kidinnu (ﬂ. ) would have helped Hipparchus signiﬁcantly. Under Hipparchus precision observational astronomy was coming of age. In order to produce his observations, Hipparchus is credited with developing a number of measuring devices. He is believed to have used the armillary astrolabe, a set of concentric rings rotating round one another to simulate the relative movements of the heavenly bodies.
His astronomical opinions are harder to deﬁne. The ideas attributed to him by the most optimistic historians may instead belong to his school. Diogenes Laertius states that Pythagoras was the ﬁrst to argue that the Earth was round, although Laertius was aware that some ancient authorities held different opinions (Theophrastus gave the credit to Parmenides, while Zeno attributed this belief to Hesiod). Laertius also believed that Pythagoras was the ﬁrst of the Greeks to discover that the “morning” and the “evening” star are the same (the planet Venus).
Alpha and Omega: The Search for the Beginning and End of the Universe by Charles Seife