L'ultimo orizzonte

Amedeo Balbi

L'ultimo orizzonte



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In less than a century we have been able to develop an understanding of many aspects of our universe: its structure, its age, what it contains, and its evolution. However, there are still aspects of the universe that we don’t understand, and perhaps there always will be. In his book L'ultimo orizzonte. Cosa sappiamo dell’universo - The Last Horizon. What we know about the universe - Amedeo Balbi retraces the main steps of how the scientific community managed to develop the model of the big bang, which is still considered, to date, the most precise explanation for the origin of the cosmos. Not only that, the author also guides us through the exploration of the new frontiers on which current cosmological research is being carried out, to the point of touching upon those questions to which, even today, we still don’t know if we will ever be able to find the answer.

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Analysis and key concepts


Human beings use science to explore our world, aiming to find an explanation for certain natural phenomena


Scientific method is based on a series of key components: observation, formulation of rational hypotheses, experimentation and sharing of results


The general theory of relativity enabled us to create the first cosmological model in history


New scientific evidence allows for the creation of more accurate models of the universe


Cosmic background radiation is proof that the universe was hot and dense


The universe is not expanding inside something else because beyond the universe there is nothing else


The big bang theory which explains the creation of the universe is the best cosmological model we have to explain the cosmos


The universe has a horizon beyond which there is probably something but we cannot know what it is


Some questions about the observable universe still remain unanswered




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Understand how the study of the universe has developed over the last century.
  • Find out what point scientists have reached in their research in this field.
  • Fully understand how important science is in our society.

Amedeo Balbi is associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the Physics Department of the University of Rome "Tor Vergata". In his research he has covered various topics including the physics of the early universe, the issue of dark matter and energy, and the search for life in the cosmos. As an author, he edited a monthly column in Le Scienze, as well as writing for several other newspapers and magazines. He has written several books, including Seekers of Wonder (Rizzoli, 2014), winner of the National Award for Scientific Dissemination 2015, and The Last Horizon (UTET, 2019), winner of the Asimov Award 2021.

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