Understanding the Universe: An Inquiry Approach to Astronomy and the Nature of Scientific Research

Understanding the Universe: An Inquiry Approach to Astronomy and the Nature of Scientific Research

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George Greenstein
Cambridge University Press
Edition: Illustrated, 2013-02-18
EAN 9780521192590, ISBN10: 0521192595

Hardcover, 658 pages, 28.4 x 22.1 x 3 cm
Language: English

'… an inquiry approach that explores the nature of scientific research sets this book apart from other textbooks. The readings and exercises are scaffolded to allow the students to build their own understanding of the big ideas in astronomy. The separation into different math levels makes it appropriate for a wide range of classes. I really liked the problem sets that required students to describe the logic behind their solutions.' Mary Kay Hemenway, University of Texas, Austin

'I have looked over the book and am impressed by what I see. Greenstein's new book is a compelling and powerful introduction to astronomy, laying bare the fundamentals of scientific arguments and the scientific process.' Steven Furlanetto, University of California, Los Angeles

'Understanding the Universe delivers on its promises. It is indeed inquiry based, and overtly uses astronomy as a means to explore the nature of science. We 'Astro 101' teachers often describe our efforts as attempts to show how science operates, but then fail to teach that way. We revert to what Greenstein describes as the 'shut up and learn' mode. This uniquely personal book, conventional in its structure, but unconventional in its insistence on clear and conversational explanations of core concepts, is a noble attempt to get the students to do the learning. Greenstein's text does not merely tell students about the Universe; it helps them understand the Universe.' Bruce Partridge, Haverford College, Pennsylvania

'George Greenstein has done an excellent job of clearly explaining the most important aspects of astronomy. His book brings the reader along on a journey of discovery and treats 'what we know' and 'how we know' as equally important. Exhorting students to actively participate rather than passively memorize reinforces a message that almost all instructors send. I encourage my colleagues teaching introductory astronomy to consider this book carefully.' Pauline Barmby, Western University, Ontario

'This unique text provides a superb framework for introducing students to the approaches scientists take to solving problems. By posing a variety of 'mysteries' faced by both ancient and contemporary astronomers, gathering and presenting data, searching for patterns, asking questions, posing and testing hypotheses both qualitatively and quantitatively, Greenstein introduces his readers to the tools of the detective-scientist.' Stephen Strom, National Optical Astronomy Observatory

'… an introductory textbook to be used in an astronomy course for nonscience majors, and I would definitely recommend it for that purpose …' Physics Today