This book provides an up-to-date overview of the competing scenarios in cosmology and discusses their foundations, implications and philosophical aspects. It gathers original contributions from the world's leading researchers in Quantum Cosmology, who describe their own work and results in an easy-to-understand manner.
"Cosmology has now come of age. No longer a speculative backwater of science, cosmological theory engages with a plethora of detailed observations, enabling us to give a convincing account of how the universe exploded into existence in a big bang and evolved to the form we see today. But some deep and tantalizing questions remain unanswered. The stellar line-up of contributors to this volume are working at the cutting edge of cosmological research, and are poised to take our understanding of the universe beyond the big bang into an even stranger realm." -- Paul Davies "Was the big bang the true beginning of the universe? If so, what triggered this enigmatic event? If not, what came before it? This book provides a wonderful overview of current ideas on these ultimate cosmic questions, written by scientists working at the forefront of cosmological research." -- Alex Vilenkin "Contributions from some of the world's foremost cosmologists addressing the central question of how our quantum universe began." -- James Hartle, University of California, Santa Barbara'