About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang

| October 27, 2012 | 0 Comments


This week I would like to take a look at a new book by Adam Frank — “About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang”. And I know what some of you might be asking right now — aren’t there already enough cosmology books for laymen? And it’s absolutely true that these days there are more than ever books about cosmology in the popular science book sections. So the big question, when it comes to these cosmology books, is whether they can offer something different. And it seems Frank does indeed offer an interesting and unique discussion in this books. So let’s check it out.

Author: Adam Frank

Hardcover: 432 pages

Publisher: Free Press (11 Sep 2012)

ISBN-10: 1439169608

ISBN-13: 978-1439169605

Kindle edition: n/a

Reviews: customer reviews

Rating: ★★★★½ Ranking: 59,856 US Version UK Version

About the Author

Adam Frank (born 1 August 1962 in New York) is a United States physicist, astronomer and writer. His research focuses on computational astrophysics with an emphasis on star formation and late stages of stellar evolution. His popular writing has focused on issues of science it its cultural context including issues of science and religion and the role of technology in the human experience of time. He is also the co-founder of National Public Radio’s 13.7 Cosmos and Culture Blog.

Editorial Reviews

“A fascinating and comprehensive survey of how technology – from farming to railways to telegraphy to the internet – has changed our everyday concept of time. [Frank] is excellent at showing how our ideas of human and cosmic time have evolved hand-in-hand… Frank’s thesis that our notions of cosmic and human time are braided together is compelling.”

New Scientist

“A phenomenal blend of science and cultural history.”

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Short Review

This book engages in an interesting discussion of how cosmology and our scientific discoveries formed and changed our understanding and perception of time and nature. Adam Frank tries to find a meaningful relation between the cosmic time and our “Earthly” time and apparently does a good job, as it really gets you thinking about how cosmology plays an important role in our everyday lives. However, a significant amount of modern physics is discussed as well. Author discusses complex concepts such as the big bang, relativity, time, black holes and so on.

The book includes the following chapters:

  1. Talking Sky, Working Stone and Living Field
  2. The City, the Cycle and the Epicycle
  3. The Clock, the Bell Tower and the Spheres of God
  4. Cosmic Machines, Illuminated Night and the Factory Clock
  5. The Telegraph, the Electric Clock and the Block Universe
  6. The Expanding Universe, Radio Hours and Washing Machine Time
  7. The Big Bang and a New Armageddon
  8. Inflation, Cell Phones and the Outlook Universe
  9. Wheels Within Wheels: Cyclic Universes and the Challenge of Quantum Gravity
  10. Ever-Changing Eternities: The Promise and Perils of a Multiverse
  11. Giving Up the Ghost: The End of Beginning and the End of Time
  12. In the Fields of Learning Grass

 

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