Download 21st Century Astronomy (4th Edition) by Bradford Smith, George Blumenthal, Laura Kay PDF

By Bradford Smith, George Blumenthal, Laura Kay

Teaches scholars to imagine like scientists.

Authors Laura Kay and Stacy Palen have constructed pedagogy that is helping scholars comprehend the method of technology, and the way actual rules are used to find the origins of the universe. The authors emphasize how we all know what we all know within the figures, textual content, and end-of-chapter material.

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Extra info for 21st Century Astronomy (4th Edition)

Sample text

Today astronomers work along with their colleagues in related fields, such as physics, chemistry, geology, and planetary science, to sharpen their understanding of the physical laws that govern the behavior of matter and energy and to use this understanding to make sense of our observations of the cosmos. Astronomy has also benefited enormously from the computer revolution. The 21st century astronomer spends far more time staring at a computer screen than peering through the eyepiece of a telescope.

This is an important property of the scientific method: a scienThe scientific method tific hypothesis must be includes trying to falsifiable—in other words, falsify ideas. disprovable. ) If continuing tests fail to disprove a hypothesis, the scientific community will come to accept it as a theory and, after enough confirmation, eventually treat it as a law of nature. Scientific theories are accepted only as long as their predictions are borne out. A classic example is Einstein’s theory of relativity, which we cover in some depth in Chapter 18.

Of stars. This chemical legacy supplies the building blocks for the interesting chemical processes that go on around us—chemical processes such as life. The atoms that make up much of what we see were formed in the hearts of stars. The singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell wrote, “We are stardust,” and this is not just poetry. Literally, we are made of the stuff of stars. As you look at the universe through the eyes of astronomers, you can also learn something of how science works. It is beyond the scope of this book to provide a detailed justification for all that we will say.

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