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The cyclical serpent : prospects for an ever-repeating universe

Author: Paul Halpern
Publisher: New York : Plenum Press, ©1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
From the very dawn of history, humans have struggled with the question of cosmic destiny. Ancient cultures worldwide invoked powerful mythological images to celebrate the cyclical nature of the earth and cosmos. As Halpern shows, these persistent and provocative symbols - such as a serpent devouring its own tail - prefigure many of the controversies that continue to rage among cosmologists today. Will the universe
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Halpern, Paul, 1961-
Cyclical serpent.
New York : Plenum Press, ©1995
(OCoLC)610223384
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Paul Halpern
ISBN: 0306449234 9780306449239
OCLC Number: 32013447
Description: xxvii, 300 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Responsibility: Paul Halpern ; foreword by Andrei Linde ; all drawings courtesy of Felicia Hurewitz.
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Abstract:

From the very dawn of history, humans have struggled with the question of cosmic destiny. Ancient cultures worldwide invoked powerful mythological images to celebrate the cyclical nature of the earth and cosmos. As Halpern shows, these persistent and provocative symbols - such as a serpent devouring its own tail - prefigure many of the controversies that continue to rage among cosmologists today. Will the universe fade into quiescence - a static graveyard of cinders, black holes, and burnt-out suns? Or will it collapse in on itself in a colossal "Big Crunch," only to explode in another cycle of time and space? The answers to these questions are stored in the ineffable cosmos, and scientists must draw on the most ingenious advances of modern physics to solve the riddles posed by the ancients.

Halpern's journey leads us through the most extraordinary breakthroughs in twentieth-century physics and cosmology, and to the remarkable tools scientists employ to look backward and forward in time. He also reveals the fascinating pieces of the puzzle still missing from our picture of the universe - keys that promise to unlock our elusive destiny. What is dark matter and how much of our universe does it comprise? What is the size and age of the universe? How did events unfold in the critical seconds after the Big Bang? The answers to these and other questions will help us decipher our fate.

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