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Cosmic Evolution

Cosmic Evolution

The Rise of Complexity in Nature

Eric J. Chaisson

ISBN 9780674009875

Publication date: 10/15/2002

We are connected to distant space and time not only by our imaginations but also through a common cosmic heritage. Emerging now from modern science is a unified scenario of the cosmos, including ourselves as sentient beings, based on the time-honored concept of change. From galaxies to snowflakes, from stars and planets to life itself, we are beginning to identify an underlying ubiquitous pattern penetrating the fabric of all the natural sciences--a sweepingly encompassing view of the order and structure of every known class of object in our richly endowed universe.

This is the subject of Eric Chaisson's new book. In Cosmic Evolution Chaisson addresses some of the most basic issues we can contemplate: the origin of matter and the origin of life, and the ways matter, life, and radiation interact and change with time. Guided by notions of beauty and symmetry, by the search for simplicity and elegance, by the ambition to explain the widest range of phenomena with the fewest possible principles, Chaisson designs for us an expansive yet intricate model depicting the origin and evolution of all material structures. He shows us that neither new science nor appeals to nonscience are needed to understand the impressive hierarchy of the cosmic evolutionary story, from quark to quasar, from microbe to mind.

Praise

  • Chaisson conducts an intriguing tour over vast realms of time and space. A lucid and sprightly guide, he brings forth original and provocative observations, while gathering a host of wonders in his cosmic embrace.

    —Dudley Herschbach, 1986 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

Author

  • Eric J. Chaisson is a Research Associate at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He is the author of Cosmic Dawn, nominated for the National Book Award for distinguished science writing.

Book Details

  • 274 pages
  • 5-11/16 x 8-7/8 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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