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From Cosmos to ChaosThe Science of Unpredictability$
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Peter Coles

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567622

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567622.001.0001

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Believing the Big Bang

Believing the Big Bang

(p.138) 8 Believing the Big Bang
From Cosmos to Chaos

Peter Coles (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Cosmology aims to build a coherent unified description of the entire universe as a single system. This means not just the disposition of everything that exists at a particular time, but also how this current state came about, and how it will evolve into the future. This chapter describes in some detail how the Big Bang model of creation is constructed, and what is the evidence that favours it over the alternatives. The cosmological constant introduced by Albert Einstein is discussed, along with the cosmic microwave background radiation and its importance for the advancement of the Big Bang model. The interplay between theory and observation over almost a century of dedicated study, has established a ‘standard’ cosmological model dominated by dark energy and dark matter, with a tiny flavouring of the baryonic matter from which stars, planets, and human beings are made.

Keywords:   cosmology, universe, Big Bang, cosmological constant, cosmic microwave background radiation, dark energy, dark matter, stars, planets

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