The Very First Light

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-09-29
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $21.99 Save up to $3.30
  • Buy New


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


In the early 1990s, a NASA-led team of scientists changed the way we view the universe. With the COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) project, they showed that the microwave radiation that fills the universe must have come from the Big Bangeffectively proving the Big Bang theory beyond any doubt. It was one of the greatest scientific findings of our generation, perhaps of all time. InThe Very First Light, John Mather, one of COBE's leaders, and science writer John Boslough tell the story of how it was achieved. A gripping tale of big money, bigger egos, tense politics, and cutting-edge engineering,The Very First Lightoffers a rare insider's account of the world of big science.

Author Biography

John C. Mather, Ph.D., is a Senior Astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He won the Nobel Prize in 2006. He is a member of the Astrophysics Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Committee and of the Standing Review Board for the Kepler project. He lives in Maryland.

John Boslough received honors in the history of science from Princeton University and has written widely on science for National Geographic and other publications. His previous books include Stephen Hawking’s Universe and Masters of Time, co-authored by Wendy W. Cortesi. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Prefacep. xvii
A Day Without Yesterday
Better Is the Enemyp. 3
Scoopedp. 10
The Remains of the First Dayp. 27
The Day the Universe Changedp. 39
The Ballooning Universep. 50
Tuolumne Nightsp. 63
The Same, Only Different
The Law of Incidental Consequencesp. 77
The New Aether Driftp. 88
Parallel Universesp. 103
Dueling Satellitesp. 116
Mathematical Mythologyp. 130
First Light
Day Onep. 149
The Directoratep. 167
Skunkworksp. 185
Lost in Spacep. 202
The Private Life of the Cosmic Background Radiationp. 225
COBE's Final Reportp. 246
Stockholm Callingp. 255
Epiloguep. 283
Appendixp. 295
Notesp. 313
A Brief COBE Glossaryp. 327
Bibliographyp. 331
Where Are They Now?p. 335
Indexp. 339
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Rewards Program

Write a Review