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Amanda Gefter
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George F. R. Ellis

Jean-Pierre Luminet

The Wraparound Universe

Einstein thought that the universe curved round on itself, and so was finite, but recent measurements suggest that the curvature is very small, so the universe is either infinite, or consideerably bigger than what we see. Some people, though, don't agree with this interpretation - the universe might be much smaller than the curvature suggests. The Wraparound Universe Jean-Pierre Luminet explains this idea.

The book starts with a look at the difference between a finite and an infinite universe, and shows how general relativity explains gravity in terms of curvature of spacetime. The reader is then introduced to topology, and Luminet describes how the universe might wrap around on itself in a topological sense, even though this doesn't show up in geometrical measurements. He goes on to look at ways that such wraparound might be detected - seeing the same galaxy in different parts of the sky would be an obvious way, but it would also leave it's mark on the patterns of the cosmological microwave background.

The later parts of the book take a wider look at cosmology, describing some of the history of the subject - Luminet feels that the contribution of Lemaitre should be more widely recognised. The book has short chapters and plenty of illustrations, making it easy to read. It is also clearly meant to be the sort of book you dip into at random. Some people might find it a bit unstructured for their purposes, but I found it a highly enjoyable read, giving an alternative view of cosmology which may just turn out to be the right one.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 400 pages  
ISBN: 1568813090
Salesrank: 1744188
Weight:1.3 lbs
Published: 2008 A K Peters/CRC Press
Amazon price $47.95
Marketplace:New from $8.44:Used from $3.86
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 400 pages  
ISBN: 1568813090
Salesrank: 2042123
Weight:1.3 lbs
Published: 2008 A K Peters/CRC Press
Amazon price £33.99
Marketplace:New from £26.48:Used from £8.98
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 400 pages  
ISBN: 1568813090
Salesrank: 1225786
Weight:1.3 lbs
Published: 2008 A K Peters/CRC Press
Amazon price CDN$ 60.81
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 50.57:Used from CDN$ 27.08
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
What shape is the universe? Is it curved and closed in on itself? Is it expanding? Where is it headed? Could space be wrapped around itself, such that it produces ghost images of faraway galaxies? Such are the questions posed by Jean-Pierre Luminet in The Wraparound Universe, which he then addresses in clear and accessible language. An expert in black holes and the big bang, he leads us on a voyage through the surprising byways of space-time, where possible topologies of the universe, explorations of the infinite, and cosmic mirages combine their mysterious traits and unlock the imagination. The Wraparound Universe is a general-audience book about the overall topology or shape of the universe. The central question addressed is whether it is possible that the universe is wrapped around in an interesting way, and what impact this would have on astronomical observations and our understanding of cosmology. Along the way many of the general features and much of the history of the modern picture of cosmology are discussed.