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Genesis of the Big Bang Hardcover – January 15, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0195111828 ISBN-10: 0195111826

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Genesis of the Big Bang is an excellent, personal and fascinating account of this early work and early times by Alpher and Herman. Not only is the physics made simple, but the book provides an excellent account of the personalities involved in the debate."--Astronomy Now


About the Author

Ralph A. Alpher, Distinguished Professor of Physics, Union College. Robert Herman, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Texas, Austin (Emeritus).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195111826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195111828
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,320,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dale E. Hedman on May 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Did you ever think you could see further if you stood on the shoulders of a giant? Here's your chance. These authors have been involved with cosmological investigations for over 50 years. They explain the theory of the Big Bang for the layman but with enough detail to challenge the non-specialist. (The non-specialists will probably want to skip the appendices but if one wants to get a flavor of the deep thinking involved in Big Bang research the appendices opens that door.)
The authors are not short on details and their recollection of personal experiences during their scientific endeavors makes the book most interesting. These authors are not merely reporting on what others are doing but rather reflecting on their own personal critical investigations and presenting their opinion on subsequent research endeavors. They have been observers and critics of the evolution of cosmological investigations for essentially their whole careers. Thus they have strong opinions which are expressed unambiguously. I would expect that some would disagree with their opinions but to me this clear expression of these opinions is refreshing. But to their credit these opinions are presented clearly as their opinions so that the reader can explore the issues and disagree to their hearts content.
As a non-physicist, I had read enough to understand that the abundance of the light elements was created according to the Big Bang theory during the primeval evolution of the universe. And further that the heavier elements up to iron were created in the heart of collapsing stars but had never quite understood why this was the case. The authors discussion and presentation of data on the binding energy of the elements made this reasonably understandable to me.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Victor S. Alpher on February 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was long out of print, available only through Kindle, Questia, or for $100 to 200 on Alibris.

Thankfully, it has been reprinted. Not the revised edition Ralph A. Alpher planned, but affordable. The dustjacket has been incorporated into a durable cover, and could now be used in a course on the History of Science, Astrophysics and Cosmology, or related subject.

Ralph A. Alpher received overdue recognition with the 2005 National Medal of Science, our country's highest scientific award. This was, in the opinion of a great many, long overdue. I am his son, but my bias can be ignored.

If you're interested in the Big Bang, I can tell you, there is more to come. What happened before that singularity?

After the Big Bang--well, there is no better description that that written by the man who described it, who calculated all of the important equations on a slide rule! I wasn't there, but I was close--he is, after all, my father.

And, when I was ten, this very humble scientist, considered by many one of the great scientists of the 20th century, had his predictions of the cosmic blackbody background radiation confirmed by accident by two physicists working for the then Bell Labs in New Jersey. Those two men received the Nobel Prize. Not that Alpher and Herman were not nominated at times, frequently. It just so happens the Nobel is never awarde to FOUR people. Every other important Physics recognition--has gone to Alpher and Herman.

However, the most original work was from Ralph A. Alpher. A student of George Gamow, the colorful Russian physicist at George Washington University, this work was his SECOND doctoral dissertation. The solution to the problem of his first dissertaiton was published before he could defend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ralph A Alpher on August 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I could say more about this book, but you might wish to read it first, along with the techincal material in the Appendix...

As with all such books, there is an error here and there, despite a gang of proofreaders unpaid by me.

If interested in the errata, please contact my son at AlpherV (aol).

Meanwhile, please enjoy one of the interesting who-did-what's of the 20th century.
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Format: Paperback
This book was never published in paperback by Oxford and has been long out of print. VSA Update 1/9/09: The book has been republished, without dustjacket (the dustjacket is incorporated in the cover). Readers who long had to pay upwards of $200 for an available copy, or worse, read an online version, now have available (who knows for how long), the actual book, on acid-free paper. It is at a price now that it could be included in an advanced or graduate course in Astrophysics and Cosmology, and hopefully will be during this window of opportunity!
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