1st Edition

Understanding the Universe
The Physics of the Cosmos from Quasars to Quarks

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 13, 2021
ISBN 9780367748050
May 13, 2021 Forthcoming by CRC Press
240 Pages 65 Color & 1 B/W Illustrations

USD $99.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Understanding the Universe: The Physics of the Cosmos from Quasars to Quarks explores how all areas of physics, from the very smallest scales to the very largest, come together to form our current understanding of the Universe. It takes readers on a fascinating journey, from the Big Bang and how the Universe has evolved, to how it appears now, and the possibilities for how it will continue to evolve in the future.

It also explores the latest exciting developments in the area and how they impact our understanding of the Universe, such as quantum chromodynamics, black holes, dark energy, and gravitational waves. Equally importantly, it explains how we have come to know all of this about the Universe and details the limitations of our current understanding.

This book is accessible to all introductory undergraduate students interested in the physical sciences. It prioritises a non-mathematical approach so it can be understood by all students, with only two algebraic equations in the book and any numerical calculations shown are limited to simple arithmetic.

Key Features:

  • Combines current understanding of quantum physics and cosmology, and includes the latest exciting developments from the field.
  • Provides an accessible introduction to the topic, focusing on a non-mathematical presentation.
  • Presents a comprehensive narrative on the subject and a coherent story.

Table of Contents

1. Quarks to Quasars. 2. The Physical World. 3. Quantised energy. 4. Quantum Uncertainty. 5. Atoms. 6 Nuclei.. 7.  Particles. 8. Observing the Universe. 9. The Expanding Universe. 10. The Cooling Universe. 11. Electromagnetic Interactions. 12. Strong Interactions. 13. Weak Interactions. 14. Gravitational Interactions. 15. Unified Theories. 16. The History of the Universe. 17. The Universe Today. 18. The Future of the Universe.

View More



Andrew Norton is Professor of Astrophysics Education in the School of Physical Sciences at the Open University and is a former vice president of the Royal Astronomical Society. He gained his PhD in X-ray astronomy from Leicester University working on interacting compact binary stars. His current research focusses on time domain astrophysics from large-scale photometric surveys, including variable stars and transiting exoplanets. In his role as an educator at the Open University he has taught many areas of physics, exoplanetary science, stellar astrophysics, accretion physics, theoretical and observational cosmology, extragalactic astrophysics, and practical observational astronomy using optical and radio telescopes. He has been academic consultant for several OU/BBC TV co-productions and was co-author of the OU’s "60 second adventures in astronomy" videos. He has an Erdös-Bacon-Sabbath number of 13.