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Your Cosmic Context: An Introduction to Modern Cosmology 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0132400107
ISBN-10: 0132400103
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Todd Duncan is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Pacific University. Todd combines a research background in physics and astronomy with experience teaching science concepts to a wide range of audiences. He holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Chicago and physics degrees from Cambridge University and the University of Illinois. Todd has taught interdisciplinary science courses ranging from elementary school to graduate level, and is currently on the physics faculty at Pacific University, president of the non-profit Science Integration Institute, and adjunct faculty in the Center for Science Education at Portland State University.

 

Dr. Craig Tyler is on the physics faculty at Fort Lewis College. He holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Chicago, and bachelor of science degrees in mechanical engineering and entrepreneurial management from the University of Pennsylvania. Craig's research and professional interests include dark matter, black holes, and recent advances in physics and astronomy education. Craig is the affiliate director at Fort Lewis for the NASA/Colorado Space Grant Consortium, and has received the college's New Faculty Teaching Award.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1st edition (January 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132400103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132400107
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Your Cosmic Context" is the best cosmology book I have read, and I've read more than a dozen. It is well suited for anyone interested in the latest discoveries in this fascinating field.

I've taught college astronomy for 30 years and am delighted that Duncan and Tyler have written an introduction to cosmology book that is thought provoking, gracefully written, informative and well designed. Unlike most textbooks, "Your Cosmic Context" provokes the reader to ponder the Big Questions such as "What is the universe made of?" and "How did consciousness arise?" and "What is the future of the universe?" 'Your Cosmic Context" is marketed as a textbook, but can be enjoyed by anyone curious about the universe we call home.

The book opens with an excellent introduction to the sky we see and explains how we have arrived at our current understanding of our place in the cosmos. For the math-phobic, all equations are explained in words and the reader comes to realize that mathematics is a language that can be easily understood by the non-scientist.

'"Your Cosmic Context" is a refreshing addition to the field of cosmology written by two young Ph.D cosmologists who studied at the University of Chicago, one of the most prestigious universities for cosmology research in the world.

This book is up to date, a pleasure to read and visually stunning. I give it a 5 star rating.
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If you're interested in really learning about recent developments in cosmology, but are intimidated by physics or math, this is a great introduction. It teaches you the science you need while focusing on personal connections to the universe. Many textbooks are dryly written, however this book uses humor throughout to keep the tone lively and engaging. The book provides a nice framework for exploring your own big questions about the universe and your place in it.
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Excellent qualitative appraisal. Mildly challenging reading in spots but for the most part very readable. Does a good job pulling together all the separate areas of research to make a coherent picture and repeatedly points out how the picture IS coherent. If you are trying to convince yourself that the current understanding of the universe's formation can't be right, and that the universe really magically formed overnight at the hand of some supreme being, don't read this book. Authors make such a convincing case that you may end up believing the science.
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I found this text by reviewing the syllabi of several astronomy and cosmology courses. I dont like the title because the title seems to elementary or silly, what I would expect from a high school textbook.

I have read several cosmology-related texts but no textbooks. This is my first. I enjoyed the text for several reasons. First, this book is for a person with no or little experience with astronomy or cosmology. The authors focus very little on math, enough to communicate relationships, such as gravitational attraction & acceleration. The vast majority of questions are "thought experiments." Anyone who has read about Einstein knows he was famous for his thought experiments.

The book is organized well, meaning the authors build upon knowledge from previous units. Reference to previous sections are common. The tone of the book is very conversational; the authors are not trying to amaze you with complicated logic nor their vocabulary. The tone is that of a workshop or sitting in a pub somewhere discussing the universe.

Someone wanting a good introduction to cosmology without intimidating math should like this book. If you want a more mathematical approach, pick another textbook.

I did not like the final chapter at all. Had I been the publisher, I would have requested a final chapter covering future research in cosmology & astronomy, plus a discussion of research fields within cosmology / astronomy.
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I found this to be well written for a difficult subject. It certainly broadened my understanding of how we obtained our current concept of the universe. It gave an excellent historical development of the ideas that experiments that have shaped our current understanding of the cosmos. It makes an excellent textbook focusing on the discoveries and evidence for an expanding universe.
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I bought this book for use in one semester of Cosmic Origins and was lucky enough to have Craig Tyler as my professor. I can definitely see where (at least half of) the intellectual and wacky humor comes from. The quantized layout of this book starts with the simplest of local astronomy science and zooms the reader through the astronomical distance ladder, the nature of both 'luminescent' and 'dark' matter, Big Bang Theory, cosmic harmonics, dark energy and quantum mechanics, and even the origins of life and consciousness. Is the universe 'fine-tuned' for human life? Is it likely we'll contact aliens any time soon? These questions, too, are addressed in a logical manner. As it's been mentioned in other reviews, the book is not just a class text - it is layman accessible because it was written in stages of complexity so that it can be read by anybody. I've casually read works by Greene, Kaku, Hawking, and Sagan, and I highly recommend this one to all.
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