Afterglow of Creation

From the Fireball to the Discovery
 of Cosmic Ripples

By Marcus Chown


The story about the work that won 
the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics 

"Chown superbly captures the spirit of scientific adventure...The story is told with panache and the science is so well explained that it makes an effortless read. Afterglow of Creation is upbeat, witty and informed."
--The Sunday Times

"An excellent introduction to the most recent developments in astronomy."
--The Observer

"A very good piece of story-telling."
--New Scientist

"Beautiful science, beautifully told."
--The Australian

"It is a wonderful story, brilliantly told, and illustrated by black-and-white period photographs of most of the major participants in this scientific drama."
--National Science Teacher

This is the story of the cosmic background radiation, the "afterglow" of the Big Bang in which the Universe was born. Fifteen billion years after the event, the afterglow still permeates all of space, making it the oldest relic in creation and providing an imprint of the Universe as it was in its infancy.

 Chown brilliantly weaves a tale of the search for the origins of the Universe beginning in the 1920s and culminating with  the flight of the COBE satellite and what it found.  Scientists worldwide were rocked by the remarkable image on the book's cover above, which show cosmic ripples from a microwave map of the whole sky.  Made from one year of COBE data, the Milky Way is positioned across the middle of the map.  Red indicates areas that are slightly warmer and blue indicates areas that are slightly colder than the average sky temperature of 2.73 degrees above absolute zero.

For their work on the COBE Satellite, John Mather and George Smoot were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in October, 2006. 

About the Author:
Marcus Chown is the cosmology consultant for New Scientist.  He graduated from the University of London with a first-class degree in physics, and four years later he gained a Master of Science in astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology.  He has been a lecturer in Madagascar, a freelance writer, and a broadcaster for the BBC.  He is the author of a children's book, Stars and Planets, and the coauthor of two science fiction novels, Double Planet and Reunion.  Afterglow of Creation is his first venture into popular science.  He is married and lives in Worcestershire, England.

ISBN 978-0-935702-40-8, 1996, 222 pages, casebound with jacket, color insert