The Universe Around Us: An Integrative View of Science & Cosmology


The Universe Around Us: An Integrative View of Science & Cosmology

To the Reader:

The aim of this web text is to present the reader with an integrated overview of the present scientific understanding of the entire range of `hard' sciences, together with comments on how that understanding is attained and what its limitations are.

The text is presently under continuous modification, so please do not be surprised if it is different next time you look at it. It has been written to provide supporting material for a course called "Science for Non-Scientists" but needs substantial completion and development before it can be a stand-alone reference for such a course. Such a process of improvement is ongoing at the present time.

There is no separate page of links to other websites, as is common practice. Rather many such links are imbedded into the main text, providing a powerful augmentation of that text. These webpages have been selected for their clarity and content; however I have excluded those with banner advertisements, and where possible those using frames. I have not usually named the author of the site or any associated institution, as that should by and large be self-explanatory once the relevant webpages have been visited. However I aim to check this aspect when time allows and see if more attribution of authorship should be given in the main text.

I would be glad to have constructive comments and suggestions for improving this text, and would particularly appreciate suggestions of further good quality relevant websites that would enhance the text suitably. You can email suggestions and comments to me at When doing so, please identify yourself and your institution and location clearly, and put “The Universe Around Us” in the subject line. I would also appreciate knowing your profession or occupation.

If you propose a website link for inclusion, please indicate clearly where in the text would be a suitable place to put the link. Please note that I am excluding websites with advertising banners and particularly those that `spam' one with unwanted new windows.

I hope you enjoy the text.

      George Ellis

Cape Town, 29 July 2002.