From humankind's early attempts to comprehend Earth's place in the solar system, to astronomers' exploration of the Milky Way galaxy and the realm of the nebulae beyond, to the detection of the primordial fluctuations of energy from which all subsequent structure developed, this book explains the physics and the history of how the current model of our universe arose and has passed every test hurled at it by the skeptics. Throughout this rich story, an essential theme is emphasized: how three aspects of rational inquiry--the application of direct measurement and observation, the introduction of mathematical modeling, and the requirement that hypotheses should be testable and verifiable--guide scientific progress and underpin our modern cosmological paradigm.
This monumental puzzle is far from complete, however, as scientists confront the mysteries of the ultimate causes of cosmic structure formation and the real nature and origin of dark matter and dark energy.
This book offers the best account in English of Lemaître’s life and work. It will be appreciated by professionals and graduate students interested in the history of cosmology.