With clarity and grace, Kragh fits a tremendous mass of facts, ideas, and interconnections into this slim volume intended for students, general readers, and interconections into this slim volume intended for students, general readers, and scholars in sciences and humanities. ( Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, volume 37, part 2)
Conceptions of Cosmos is aimed at a relatively broad audience, though some background in the physical sciences will be used for the 20th-century sections. The book will certainly be enjoyed by working scientists and historians of science; its superb overview of the history of cosmology is unrivalled in terms of reliability and range of coverage. ( Physics Today, January 2008)
Kragh...writes with engaging clarity and insight. His book is thought-provoking and enlightening, a joy from beginning to end. Essential reading... ( Times Higher Education Supplement)
Kragh has accomplished his stated intention 'to write a history of how scientists...explored and thought of the universe. ( Choice)
This book is a historical account of how natural philosophers and scientists have endeavoured to understand the universe at large, first in a mythical and later in a scientific context. Starting with the creation stories of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the book covers all the major events in theoretical and observational cosmology, from Aristotle's cosmos over the Copernican revolution to the discovery of the accelerating universe in the late 1990s. It presents cosmology as a subject including scientific as well as non-scientific dimensions, and tells the story of how it developed into a true science of the heavens. Contrary to most other books in the history of cosmology, it offers an integrated account of the development with emphasis on the modern Einsteinian and post-Einsteinian period. Starting in the pre-literary era, it carries the story onwards to the early years of the 21st century.
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