"Archeology is the science that probes the past few thousand years. Geology takes us back two or even three billion years. Beyond that is the realm of cosmology: the study of the beginnings of the Universe around us."
So begins a journey deep into the origins of time, the birth of galaxies, and all the way to the farthest realm, beyond the end of it all. The tour starts at the beginning, the very early Universe - with Silk's masterful account of the Big Bang Theory, culminating in the 1965 discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation. "This whisper of creation is the greatly faded relic of the primordial fireball..."
A respected and creative scientist, Silk writes about cosmology, astronomy and astrophysics with an accessible combination of "clarity, poise, even wit," as The New York Times said of his earlier book for general readers, The Left Hand of Creation (written with John D. Barrow).
This volume in the celebrated Masters of Modern Physics series probes the enigma of the great cosmic voids, "missing mass" in the Universe, a puzzle that continues to baffle scientists as one of the principal unsolved dark mysteries.
"The cosmic connection," Silk concludes, "defines our place in the Universe, in more ways than one. The uniformity of the radiation in the sky, to better than a thousandth of a percent, tells us that our location can be nowhere special. We are neither at the center nor at the edge of the Universe, but at a perfectly random location in a perfectly isotropic Universe."