About the Book
This book provides a tour of the "greatest hits" of cosmological discoveries - the ideas that reshaped our universe over the past century. The cosmos, once understood as a stagnant place, filled with the ordinary, is now a universe that is expanding at an accelerating pace, propelled by dark energy and structured by dark matter. Priyamvada Natarajan, our guide to these ideas, is someone at the forefront of the research - an astrophysicist who literally creates maps of invisible matter in the universe. She not only explains for a wide audience the science behind these essential ideas but also provides an understanding of how radical scientific theories gain acceptance.
The formation and growth of black holes, dark matter halos, the accelerating expansion of the universe, the echo of the big bang, the discovery of exoplanets, and the possibility of other universes - these are some of the puzzling cosmological topics of the early twenty-first century. Natarajan discusses why the acceptance of new ideas about the universe and our place in it has never been linear and always contested even within the scientific community. And she affirms that, shifting and incomplete as science always must be, it offers the best path we have toward making sense of our wondrous, mysterious universe.
About the Author
Priyamvada Natarajan is professor of astronomy and physics at Yale University and holds the Sophie and Tycho Brahe Professorship at the Dark Center, Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. Her research on dark matter, dark energy and black holes has won her many awards and honors, including Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships. Invested in public dissemination of science and numerical literacy, she is a member of the advisory board of NOVA ScienceNow, participates regularly in the World Science Festival and writes for The New York Review of Books. She was recently elected to chair the Division of Astrophysics of the American Physical Society.