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Cosmology for the Curious : Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics - Delia Perlov

Cosmology for the Curious

Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics


Published: 25th August 2017
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
7 to 10 business days
RRP $90.99

This book is a gentle introduction for all those wishing to learn about modern views of the cosmos. Our universe originated in a great explosion - the big bang. For nearly a century cosmologists have studied the aftermath of this explosion: how the universe expanded and cooled down, and how galaxies were gradually assembled by gravity. The nature of the bang itself has come into focus only relatively recently. It is the subject of the theory of cosmic inflation, which was developed in the last few decades and has led to a radically new global view of the universe.

Students and other interested readers will find here a non-technical but conceptually rigorous account of modern cosmological ideas - describing what we know, and how we know it. One of the book's central themes is the scientific quest to find answers to the ultimate cosmic questions: Is the universe finite or infinite? Has it existed forever? If not, when and how did it come into being? Will it ever end?

The book is based on the undergraduate course taught by Alex Vilenkin at Tufts University. It assumes no prior knowledge of physics or mathematics beyond elementary high school math. The necessary physics background is introduced as it is required. Each chapter includes a list of questions and exercises of varying degree of difficulty.

"Cosmology for the Curious offers an excellent tour of the key ideas in cosmology. It also crisply delineates our empirically determined understanding from more speculative areas of current research. I am currently using it in my introductory cosmology class." (Priyamvada Natarajan, Physics Today, April, 2018)

"This is an introductory textbook, intended for first year physics students, with familiar textbook features like questions to answer at the end of each chapter. ... The ideal market for this book is ... a student about to start on a physics course at university who wants to make it more comfortable to ease into the course. Delia Perlov and Alex Vilenkin should be congratulated on making a big step towards accessibility in a book like this." (Popular Science, popsciencebooks.blogspot.de, October, 2017)

Part I The Big Bang and the Observable Universe: A historical overview.- Newton's universe.- Special relativity.- The fabric of space and time.- An expanding universe.- Observational cosmology.- Hubble's law and the expanding universe.- The fate of the universe.- Dark matter and dark energy.- The quantum world.- The hot big bang.- Structure formation.- Element abundances.- The very early universe.- Part II Beyond the Big Bang: Problems with the big bang.- The theory of cosmic inflation.- Testing inflation: predictions and observations.- Eternal inflation.- String theory and the multiverse.- Anthropic selection.- The principle of mediocrity.- Did the universe have a beginning?.- Creation of universes from nothing.- The big picture.- Appendix.

ISBN: 9783319570389
ISBN-10: 3319570382
Series: Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 372
Published: 25th August 2017
Publisher: Springer International Publishing AG
Country of Publication: CH
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.4  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.73
Edition Number: 1