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Your Cosmic Context: An Introduction to Modern Cosmology Paperback – January 12, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0132400107 ISBN-10: 0132400103 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 1st edition (January 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132400103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132400107
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Excellent qualitative appraisal.
John Public
Many textbooks are dryly written, however this book uses humor throughout to keep the tone lively and engaging.
Angela
Someone wanting a good introduction to cosmology without intimidating math should like this book.
M. R. Busby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Edwin Hubble on February 29, 2008
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angela on January 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sanford E. Pomerantz on January 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Public on December 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Bombaci on April 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Enrico Fermi on March 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Your Cosmic Context" is a phenomenally informative book. It contains the clearest descriptions of physical process that you can find, helping anyone understand everything from the expansion of the universe to gravity. It also has helpful, and sometimes funny, charts and pictures that help describe everything, and also a fun little crossword at the end of every chapter to review key terms. The quantitative side of the book is also easy to digest; with every equation described in-depth in a way that anyone can understand. But what really sets "Your Cosmic Context" above and beyond all others is that it gives significance to the individual, and really shows you where you fit in to the universe in a way no other book has done. I am a high school student, and an avid amateur astronomer and I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of age, who is interested in the world around them.
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