For over ten years, the dark side of the universe has been headline news. Detailed studies of the rotation of spiral galaxies, and 'mirages' created by clusters of galaxies bending the light from very remote objects, have convinced astronomers of the presence of large quantities of dark (unseen) matter in the cosmos. The most striking fact is that they seem to compromise about 95% of the matter/energy content of the universe. As for ordinary matter, although we are immersed in a sea of dark particles, including primordial neutrinos and photons from fossil cosmological radiation, both we and our environment are made of ordinary, 'baryonic' matter.
Authors Mazure and Le Brun present the inventory of matter, baryonic and exotic, and investigating the nature and fate of matter's twin, anti-matter. They show how technological progress has been a result of basic research, in tandem with the evolution of new ideas, and how the combined effect of these advances might help lift the cosmic veil.
From the reviews:
"This complete, timely presentation explains why people can see only 4 percent of the universe. ... Well-selected color plates add to reader interest. A brief appendix, glossary of definitions, and index support the text. ... the book will appeal most to scientifically inclined senior undergraduates through professional readers ... . Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." (W. E. Howard III, Choice, Vol. 49 (10), June, 2012)
"The aim of this book is ... to explain the concepts behind this revolution and allow the layman to understand the phenomena and measurements that enabled this new view to arise. With a layout as clear as the prose and a lavish use of illustrations, colour photographs, and line diagrams, the book is mostly successful in its aim. ... an excellent introductory astronomy text at A-level or first-year-undergraduate-level physics or indeed as a useful inspirational book for continuing-education courses." (Barry Kent, The Observatory, Vol. 132 (1229), August, 2012)
"The presentation of this popular text is very readable, it contains a lot of pictures, mainly of astronomical objects outside our galaxy, and explains several of the observational techniques and instruments. The main topic is modern cosmology, the relation between dark matter, dark energy, and anti-matter in the cosmos are discussed in details. The book contains almost no formula, even the blackbody radiation formula is replaced by a figure to explain the frequency distribution of the cosmic background radiation." (Hans-Jürgen Schmidt, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1235, 2012)
Presents the nature of "ordinary matter" in the universe and how it developed from the first three seconds to the present universe
Includes the latest information on current astrophysical research concerning hidden or dark baryons
Demonstrates how cosmologists aim to uncover the nature of "hidden" baryons