How vast is the universe? Was there a beginning, and will there be an end? How did the Big Bang theory arise? How does one go about discovering the universe's past and foreseeing its future? These are ancient questions, in part yet to be solved. The book deals with the most important steps along the long path of scientific endeavour, that stretches from the modern era to the most recent discoveries, concerning the hierarchy of cosmic structures, the expansion of the universe, the latter's ultrahot and ultradense initial state, all of which today's cosmologists can observe directly thanks to sophisticated telescopes and space instruments.
Paolo de Bernardis teaches Astrophysics and Observational Cosmology at La Sapienza University in Rome and is the former coordinator of the Boomerang experiment and co-investigator of the European Space Agency's Planck Mission, the first European mission to study the birth of the universe.