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One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos


One Universe

At Home in the Cosmos (2000)

A new window opens onto the cosmos...

Almost every day we are challenged by new information from the outermost reaches of space. Using straightforward language, One Universe explores the physical principles that govern the workings of our own world so that we can appreciate how they operate in the cosmos around us. Bands of color in a sunlit crystal and the spectrum of starlight in giant telescopes, the arc of a hard-hit baseball and the orbit of the moon, traffic patterns on a freeway and the spiral arms in a galaxy full of stars—they're all tied together in grand and simple ways.

We can understand the vast cosmos in which we live by exploring three basic concepts: motion, matter, and energy. With these as a starting point, One Universe shows how the physical principles that operate in our kitchens and backyards are actually down-to-Earth versions of cosmic processes. The book then takes us to the limits of our knowledge, asking the ultimate questions about the origins and existence of life as we know it and where the universe came from—and where it is going.

Glorious photographs—many seen for the first time in these pages—and original illustrations expand and enrich our understanding. Evocative and clearly written, One Universe explains complex ideas in ways that every reader can grasp and enjoy. This book captures the grandeur of the heavens while making us feel at home in the cosmos. Above all, it helps us realize that galaxies, stars, planets, and we ourselves all belong to One Universe.

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The views expressed in this book are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academies.


Author Bio

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and a Visiting Research Scientist in astrophysics at Princeton University. Since 1995, Tyson has written the popular monthly essay "Universe" for Natural History magazine. He is also the author of Universe Down to Earth, a collection of essays exploring the connections between concepts of science and everyday experience, and The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist, a memoir. A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, Tyson earned a B.A. in physics from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Columbia University. Tyson lives in New York City.

Charles Liu is an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History and a Visiting Research Scientist at Columbia University. His research focuses on the evolution of galaxies, and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Astrophysical Journal and The Astronomical Journal. Liu received a B.A. in both astronomy and astrophysics and physics from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Arizona. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

Robert Irion, a freelance science journalist in Santa Cruz, California, is a contributing editor at Astronomy magazine and a contributing correspondent to Science magazine. He holds a B.S. in earth and planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and studied science communication at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he now teaches science writing. His articles on astronomy, earth science, and physics also have appeared in New Scientist and other publications. He lives in Santa Cruz.

Suggested Citation

Neil de Grasse Tyson, et al. 2000. One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press.

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Publication Info

225 pages | 9.5 x 12 |  DOI:

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