Cosmic Evolution

Predný obal
Harvard University Press, 2002 - 274 strán (strany)

We are connected to distant space and time not only by our imaginations but also through a common cosmic heritage. Emerging now from modern science is a unified scenario of the cosmos, including ourselves as sentient beings, based on the time-honored concept of change. From galaxies to snowflakes, from stars and planets to life itself, we are beginning to identify an underlying ubiquitous pattern penetrating the fabric of all the natural sciences--a sweepingly encompassing view of the order and structure of every known class of object in our richly endowed universe.

This is the subject of Eric Chaisson's new book. In Cosmic Evolution Chaisson addresses some of the most basic issues we can contemplate: the origin of matter and the origin of life, and the ways matter, life, and radiation interact and change with time. Guided by notions of beauty and symmetry, by the search for simplicity and elegance, by the ambition to explain the widest range of phenomena with the fewest possible principles, Chaisson designs for us an expansive yet intricate model depicting the origin and evolution of all material structures. He shows us that neither new science nor appeals to nonscience are needed to understand the impressive hierarchy of the cosmic evolutionary story, from quark to quasar, from microbe to mind.

 

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A lightly quantitative, thermodynamics-oriented treatment of radiation, matter, life. Uses energy flow-rate density (ergs per second per gram) as a complexity measure for phenomena of all kinds and scales. Čítať celú recenziu

Obsah

Overview of Cosmic Evolution
1
The Nature of Change
16
Matter
79
Radiation
101
Life
121
Evolution Broadly Considered
148
A Grand Synthesis
209
Symbols and Numerical Constants
227
Glossary
229
Notes
239
Works Cited
258
Further Reading
265
Index
271
About the Author
275
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O tomto autorovi (2002)

Eric J. Chaisson is a Research Associate at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He is the author of Cosmic Dawn, nominated for the National Book Award for distinguished science writing.

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