Show Book List


Derek Raine and Ted Thomas

An introduction to the science of cosmology

An introduction to the science of cosmology by Derek Raine and Ted Thomas is a concise cosmology textbook aimed at undergrauates, without assuming a background knowledge of astrophysics. The book falls roughly into three parts. The first part describes the observations which cosmologists have to make sense of. These include the redshift indicating the expansion of the universe, the 'missing matter' problem in galaxy dynamics, and the cosmological microwave background radiation. The second part introduces general relativity, and shows how this can be used to model the universe. There are also descriptions of the experimental tests which can be used to choose between such models.

The last part of the book applies such models to the real universe, and in particular its early stages. Thus there is a description the Hot Big Bang, with the origin of elementary particles, followed by a chapter on the theory of inflation. the book ends with a look at the evolution of large scale structure in the universe.

Naturally a textbook such as this needs the reader to have some mathematical experience, but if you know a bit about differential equations then this won't be a challenge, and the first part of the book needs less mathematics. The book has problems set at the end of each chapter, and looks suitalbe for those wishing to learn cosmology in independent study. It's a short book, but I feel that anyone who has followed it will be well placed to understand much current cosmological research.

Product Description
A thorough introduction to modern ideas on cosmology and on the physical basis of the general theory of relativity, An Introduction to the Science of Cosmology explores various theories and ideas in big bang cosmology, providing insight into current problems. Assuming no previous knowledge of astronomy or cosmology, this book takes you beyond introductory texts to the point where you are able to read and appreciate the scientific literature, which is broadly referenced in the book. The authors present the standard big bang theory of the universe and provide an introduction to current inflationary cosmology, emphasizing the underlying physics without excessive technical detail.

The book treats cosmological models without reliance on prior knowledge of general relativity, the necessary physics being introduced in the text as required. It also covers recent observational evidence pointing to an accelerating expansion of the universe. The first several chapters provide an introduction to the topics discussed later in the book. The next few chapters introduce relativistic cosmology and the classic observational tests. One chapter gives the main results of the hot big bang theory. Next, the book presents the inflationary model and discusses the problem of the origin of structure and the correspondingly more detailed tests of relativistic models. Finally, the book considers some general issues raised by expansion and isotropy. A reference section completes the work by listing essential formulae, symbols, and physical constants.

Beyond the level of many elementary books on cosmology, An Introduction to the Science of Cosmology encompasses numerous recent developments and ideas in the area. It provides more detailed coverage than many other titles available, and the inclusion of problems at the end of each chapter aids in self study and makes the book suitable for taught courses.