- Gives a gentle introduction to our current knowledge of the universe and how we came to our present view
- Descriptive rather than mathematical, but includes maths separately for those seeking more detail
- Author is an experienced teacher and popularizer in the field of astronomy and cosmology
Starting out from humankind's earliest ideas about the cosmos, this book gives the reader a clear overview of our current understanding of the universe, including big bang theories and the formation of stars and galaxies, as well as addressing open questions. The author shows how our present view gradually developed from observations, and also how the outcome of ongoing research may still change this view.
The book brings together concepts in physics and astronomy, including some history in both cases. The text is descriptive rather than technical: the goal is to present things rigorously and without oversimplification, by highlighting the crucial physical concepts. The only prerequisite is a qualitative knowledge of basic physics concepts at high-school level.
The author Carlos Martins studied Physics and Applied Mathematics (specializing in Astronomy) at U. Porto and obtained his PhD in Theoretical Physics at U.Cambridge. He mainly works on observational tests of early universe theories and is a member of several ESA and ESO scientific instruments. He is actively involved in education, teacher training and outreach activities. In 2012 he created the AstroCamp, an international academic excellence program in the astronomy and physics for high school students.