From Cosmos to Chaos: The Science of Unpredictability

Paperback | September 19, 2010

byPeter Coles

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Cosmology has undergone a revolution in recent years. The exciting interplay between astronomy and fundamental physics has led to dramatic revelations, including the existence of the dark matter and the dark energy that appear to dominate our cosmos. But these discoveries only revealthemselves through small effects in noisy experimental data. Dealing with such observations requires the careful application of probability and statistics. But it is not only in the arcane world of fundamental physics that probability theory plays such an important role. It has an impact in many aspects of our everyday life, from the law courts to the lottery.Why then do so few people understand probability? And why do so few people understand why it is so important for science? Why do so many people think that science is about absolute certainty when, at its core, it is actually dominated by uncertainty? This book attempts to explain the basics of probability theory, and illustrate their application across the entire spectrum of science.

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Cosmology has undergone a revolution in recent years. The exciting interplay between astronomy and fundamental physics has led to dramatic revelations, including the existence of the dark matter and the dark energy that appear to dominate our cosmos. But these discoveries only revealthemselves through small effects in noisy experimenta...

Professor Peter Coles is Chair in Theoretical Astrophysics at Cardiff University, UK.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:September 19, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199588147

ISBN - 13:9780199588145

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Table of Contents

1. Probable Nature2. The Logic of Uncertainty3. Lies, Damned Lies, and Astronomy4. Bayesians Versus Frequentists5. Randomness6. From Engines and Entropy7. Quantum Roulette8. Believing the Big Bang9. Cosmos and Its Discontents10. Life, the Universe and Everything11. Summing Up

Editorial Reviews

"...[a] very readable book" --Zentralblatt Math