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How Did the First Stars and Galaxies Form? : Princeton Frontiers in Physics - Abraham Loeb

How Did the First Stars and Galaxies Form?

Princeton Frontiers in Physics

Paperback

Published: 16th July 2010
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Though astrophysicists have developed a theoretical framework for understanding how the first stars and galaxies formed, only now are we able to begin testing those theories with actual observations of the very distant, early universe. We are entering a new and exciting era of discovery that will advance the frontiers of knowledge, and this book couldn't be more timely. It covers all the basic concepts in cosmology, drawing on insights from an astronomer who has pioneered much of this research over the past two decades.

Abraham Loeb starts from first principles, tracing the theoretical foundations of cosmology and carefully explaining the physics behind them. Topics include the gravitational growth of perturbations in an expanding universe, the abundance and properties of dark matter halos and galaxies, reionization, the observational methods used to detect the earliest galaxies and probe the diffuse gas between them--and much more.

Cosmology seeks to solve the fundamental mystery of our cosmic origins. This book offers a succinct and accessible primer at a time when breathtaking technological advances promise a wealth of new observational data on the first stars and galaxies.Provides a concise introduction to cosmology Covers all the basic concepts Gives an overview of the gravitational growth of perturbations in an expanding universe Explains the process of reionization Describes the observational methods used to detect the earliest galaxies

Winner of the 2012 Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award, American Astronomical Society "[E]ngaging, fast-paced... Loeb's infectious excitement stirs desire to join him in these endeavors... [R]eaders will find How Did the First Stars and Galaxies Form? a lucid introduction to an exciting research field that is set to flourish in the next decades."--Science "Hands up everyone who can answer the question Loeb poses in the title of his small but sprightly book. No, not just the basics: big bang, cosmic inflation, lights, camera, action. Me neither. Harvard University astrophysicist and cosmologist Abraham Loeb can, and he does in this latest installment of the Princeton Frontiers in Physics series. While the book targets potential cosmologists and scientists, general readers will enjoy the non-technical chapters."--Australian "Anyone interested in an introduction to this dramatic story, be they academic or educated nonprofessional, would do well to start with Loeb's book. It contains only the most important equations in the field, and its general level of mathematical sophistication is compatible with introductory courses in calculus or mathematical physics. This small book is a gem belonging to an almost extinct genre: intermediate-level monographs that are both accessible to educated non-specialists in the field and tightly focused on a problem."--Milan M. Cirkovic, American Journal of Physics "Loeb, a leading theoretical cosmologist, has written a lucid account of the relevant physics, beginning with a brief review of cosmological models based on Einstein's general relativity equations."--Choice

Prefacep. xi
Prologue: The Big Picturep. 1
In the Beginningp. 1
Observing the Story of Genesisp. 2
Practical Benefits from the Big Picturep. 5
Standard Cosmological Modelp. 8
Cosmic Perspectivep. 8
Past and Future of Our Universep. 11
Gravitational Instabilityp. 15
Geometry of Spacep. 16
Cosmic Archaeologyp. 18
Milestones in Cosmic Evolutionp. 23
Most Matter Is Darkp. 30
The First Gas Cloudsp. 35
Growing the Seed Fluctuationsp. 36
The Smallest Gas Condensationsp. 43
Spherical Collapse and Halo Propertiesp. 45
Abundance of Dark Matter Halosp. 50
Cooling and Chemistryp. 59
Sheets, Filaments, and Only Then, Galaxiesp. 61
The First Stars and Black Holesp. 64
Metal-Free Starsp. 65
Properties of the First Starsp. 74
The First Black Holes and Quasarsp. 78
Gamma-Ray Bursts: The Brightest Explosionsp. 89
The Reionization of Cosmic Hydrogen by the First Galaxiesp. 95
Ionization Scars by the First Starsp. 95
Propagation of Ionization Frontsp. 98
Swiss Cheese Topologyp. 111
Observing the First Galaxiesp. 116
Theories and Observationsp. 116
Completing Our Photo Album of the Universep. 117
Cosmic Time Machinep. 119
The Hubble Deep Field and Its Follow-Upsp. 125
Observing the First Gamma-Ray Burstsp. 129
Future Telescopesp. 133
Imaging the Diffuse Fog of Cosmic Hydrogenp. 136
Hydrogenp. 136
The Lyman-Linep. 137
The 21-cm Linep. 140
Observing Most of the Observable Volumep. 156
Epilogue: From Our Galaxy's Past to Its Futurep. 159
End of Extragalactic Astronomyp. 159
Milky Way + Andromeda = Milkomedap. 164
Appendix: Useful Numbersp. 171
Notesp. 173
Recommended Further Readingp. 181
Glossaryp. 183
Indexp. 189
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691145167
ISBN-10: 0691145164
Series: Princeton Frontiers in Physics
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 193
Published: 16th July 2010
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 13.1  x 1.2
Weight (kg): 0.22