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Barbara Ryden

Introduction to cosmology

Barbara Ryden's 'Introduction to cosmology' fills something of a gap in the market for cosmology textbooks. Whilst most are aimed at postgraduate researchers, with hefty doses of tensor calculus and possibly quantum field theory too, this book is aimed at undergraduates. There's plenty of mathematics, indeed Ryden seems to introduce a new calculation at every opportunity, and I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone who wasn't willing to work through these calculations. But it's mathematics of the sort which shouldn't be too taxing for a physics undergraduate and so the book should find a place in many university physics courses.

The book is slower paced than more advanced works, and doesn't go as deeply into astrophysics. Most of the book concerns what happened in the early universe at or before the time of recombination. The main focus is explaining how the current proportions of dark matter and dark energy in the universe have been arrived at. Hence there are chapters on the cosmological microwave background, nucleosynthesis and element ratios, inflationary cosmology and the formation of structure from early inhomogeneities. If you have heard about these things from popular science books and want to know more mathematical details about how they are used to find the fundamental parameters of the universe, then you should consider working through this book.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 237 pages  
ISBN: 0805389121
Salesrank: 830847
Weight:1.76 lbs
Published: 2002 Addison-Wesley
Marketplace:New from $256.55:Used from $17.48
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 300 pages  
ISBN: 0805389121
Salesrank: 1418982
Weight:1.76 lbs
Published: 2002 Pearson
Marketplace:New from £151.20:Used from £24.49
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 300 pages  
ISBN: 0805389121
Salesrank: 358935
Weight:1.76 lbs
Published: 2002 Addison-Wesley
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 244.33:Used from CDN$ 59.95
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Product Description

Introduction to Cosmology provides a rare combination of a solid foundation of the core physical concepts of cosmology and the most recent astronomical observations. The book is designed for advanced undergraduates or beginning graduate students and assumes no prior knowledge of general relativity. An emphasis is placed on developing the readers' physical insight rather than losing them with complex math. An approachable writing style and wealth of fresh and imaginative analogies from "everyday" physics are used to make the concepts of cosmology more accessible. The book is unique in that it not only includes recent major developments in cosmology, like the cosmological constant and accelerating universe, but also anticipates key developments expected in the next few years, such as detailed results on the cosmic microwave background.