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Beyond the Big Bang (mid-level book, 600 p, August 2008)

  1. Jan 5, 2008 #1


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    We have seen some of the chapter material contributed by various people. The level is not too technical, so non-specialists will want to read it. But it is also not pop-sci either. Equations and precise language are used.
    I expect the book will help put Quantum Cosmology on the map for a lot of people.
    Here is what the publisher, Springer Press, has to say about the book.

    Beyond the Big Bang
    Prospects for an Eternal Universe

    Series: The Frontiers Collection
    Vaas, Rüdiger (Ed.)
    2008, Approx. 600 p. 40 illus., Hardcover
    ISBN: 978-3-540-71422-4

    Not yet published. Available: August 3, 2008

    Table of contents

    About this book

    * First book covering all the new scenarios in quantum cosmology to explain the Big Bang and the prospects for an eternal universe as well as a discussion of the new multiverse scenarios
    * Fills a gap in the market both in content and in style (mid-level)
    * Provides an up-to-date overview
    * Written by the leading protagonists
    * Carefully edited and fine-tuned

    The Big Bang model is now both theoretically and empirically well established. However, the very beginning of our universe still remains mysterious. General Relativity breaks down at very small spatio-temporal scales and at high energy densities. That is why Quantum Cosmology is needed. Recent developments open up the exciting new prospect of going "beyond" the Big Bang and even finding a physical explanation for it. Surprisingly, the ancient idea of a past-eternal universe is being revived, and fascinating new approaches are also being developed. This book provides an up-to-date overview of the competing scenarios in cosmology and discusses their foundations, implications, and philosophical aspects. It gathers original contributions from the world's leading researchers in Quantum Cosmology, who describe their own work and results in a manner understandable even to non-specialists.

    Written for:

    scientists: cosmologists, theoretical physicists; students of physics, astronomy/cosmology, philosophy of science; philosophers, some theologians; at least some laymen, for this issues have a broad interest and the papers are at least partly understandable for everyone.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2008
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  3. Jan 5, 2008 #2


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    And written for people that do not need tests as proof of a theory?
  4. Jan 5, 2008 #3


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    We'll have to see about that. What interests me is about the readers than whether a substantial number of the contributing AUTHORS are concerned with testability. Let's look at the Table of Contents:

    Table of contents

    - Introduction.
    - Eternal Inflation and the Vilenkin-Borde-Guth theorem.
    - The Self-Reproductive Universe: Chaotic Inflation.
    - Issues in Inflation.
    - The Big Bounce Model: Avoiding the Big Bang Singularity in General Relativity.
    - The Emergent Universe: Expansion from a stationary state.
    - Quantum Cosmologies - Once and now.
    - Instanton models, many histories and the problem of time.
    - The Fluctuating Universe: Thermodynamics, Cosmology, and the Arrow of Time.
    - Loop Quantum Cosmology I: Avoiding the Big Bang Singularity from First Principles.
    - Loop Quantum Cosmology II: Effective theories and oscillating universes.
    - Cosmic Darwinism: A universal differential selfreproduction via Black Hole-Big Bangs.
    - The Pre-Big Bang Model: How String Cosmology reaches for an eternal past.
    - The Cyclic Universe: Brane Cosmology, Dark Energy, and the eternal (?) recurrence of Big Bang/Big Crunch oscillations.
    - String Cosmology Scenarios and the Quest for the Big Bang.
    - The Stringscape.
    - The Self-Created Universe: A Time-Loop instead of a Beginning?.
    - The Quasi-Steady-State Universe: An alternative to the Big Bang Cosmology?.
    - Laws of nature: Eternal and creative?.
    - Eternal Existence: The ultimate future of the Cosmos


    It doesn't look too promising as regards testability. The only one I know where there is a clear falsifiable hypothesis is what I highlighted: Cosmic Darwinism.

    the hypothesis there is that the 30-some dimensionless parameters of the standard model are ideal for black hole production----it challenges you to show that a small adjustment of one of them would have resulted in more astrophysical black holes.
    So far attempts to falsify the hypothesis have been unsuccessful---it has stood for over 10 years.

    So that is an empirical theory with explicit falsifiability. But probably much of the rest that is discussed is NOT something we know how to test.

    The editor, Rudy Vaas, has RETITLED some of the chapters that others have contributed, so I don't know who the authors are of the various chapters. Anthony Aguirre is a contributor, he writes about "eternal inflation scenarios", but I don't know which chapter is his.

    Here are three contributions
    Eternal Inflation, past and future
    Anthony Aguirre
    38 pp., 6 color figures. Contribution to R. Vaas (ed.): Beyond the Big Bang. Springer 2008

    The Arrow Of Time In The Landscape
    Brett McInnes
    To appear in R. Vaas (ed.): Beyond the Big Bang. Springer: Heidelberg 2008

    String Theory and Pre-big bang Cosmology
    M. Gasperini, G. Veneziano
    34 pages, five figures. Contribution to the book: "Beyond the Big Bang", ed. by Ruediger Vaas

    None of the authors' titles match the names of chapters exactly. My guess is that the GasperiniVeneziano chapter has been renamed "The Pre-Big Bang Model: How String Cosmology reaches for an eternal past."

    Rudy Vaas is an engaging stylist--he can write better than most of these people, or at least more vividly. So it makes sense for him to do some active editing.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2008
  5. Jan 15, 2008 #4


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    Thanks for bringing this into our attention, marcus. August 2008 is a cleverly chosen date. Planck satellite is planned to be launched at 31st of july 2008 and this will bring early universe cosmology into the press and news.
  6. Jan 15, 2008 #5


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    Once again marcus thanks for bringing this to light. Looks like an interesting read.
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