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

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 11, 2012 - History - 432 pages
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Now in paperback, “a phenomenal blend of science and cultural history” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), About Time gives readers a peek into the cutting edge of cosmology, showing how it is intimately wedded to the texture of our daily lives.

Our universe’s “beginning” is at an end. What does this have to do with us, here on Earth? Everything. Our lives are about to be dramatically shaken—as altered as they were by the invention of the clock, the steam engine, the railroad, the radio and the Internet.

In About Time, astrophysicist Adam Frank allows us a peek into the cutting edge of cosmology, explaining how the texture of our lives changes along with our understanding of the universe’s origin. Since we awoke to self-consciousness fifty thousand years ago, our lived experience of time, from hunting and gathering to the invention of cell phones and electronic calendars, has been transformed and rebuilt many times. But the latest theories in cosmology—time with no beginning, parallel universes, eternal inflation—are about to send us in a new direction.

Time is both our grandest and most intimate conception of the universe. Frank tells the story of humanity’s deepest question—when and how did everything begin?—alongside the story of how human beings have experienced time, looking at the way our engagement with the world has allowed us to discover the nature of the universe and how those discoveries inform our daily experience. This astounding book will change the way we think about time and how it affects our lives.
 

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Contents

The Expanding Universe Radio Hours and Washing
144
Cyclic Universes and the Challenge
251
The Promise and Perils of a
275
The End of Beginnings and the End
298
Bibliography
373
Illustration Credits
389
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About the author (2012)

Adam Frank is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Rochester and a regular contributor to Discover and Astronomy magazines. He was a Hubble Fellow and is the recipient of an American Astronomical Society Prize for his scientific writing.

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