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Cosmology for the Curious

Author(s):
Publisher:

Springer

Pages: 372
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Recommend to library

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Paperback - 9783319860633

02 August 2018

$39.99

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Hardcover - 9783319570389

26 July 2017

$39.99

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Ebook - 9783319570402

07 August 2017

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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...

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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.   

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The big questions of cosmology made simple - for students and the educated layman alike

Accessible, informative and entertaining, with a gripping style and delightful cartoons

Ideal for a first course in cosmology, also for non-science majors and high-school pupils  

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.   
“As astounding as the quality of the science is that the publishers have given us as much colour as needed and as many equations (mostly in the appendices for the calculus-minded) for the price of a good dinner (without wine). I paid for my copy (at a Springer-editor & author’s reduced price) and will use it if my department ever lets me teach one of those fun ‘Cosmology for Poets’ courses again.” (Virginia Trimble, The Observatory, Vol. 138 (1267), December, 2018)“It brings you up to the current state of the art of cosmology, it is educational and you even more appreciate the work of the genius scientists laying the foundations to solve the riddle of humankind … . a “must” have for the curious. The mathematical appendix and the index are flawless.” (Joachim J. Kehr, Journal of Space Operations & Communicator, Vol. 15 (1), 2018)“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)  
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DELIA PERLOV's research interests are focused on the eternally inflating multiverse, and touch on various aspects of cosmology, string theory, quantum field theory and general relativity. She got her Ph.D. from Tufts University and then spent several years working as a postdoctoral fellow, also at Tufts, where she now lectures on a part-time basis.


ALEX VILENKIN has been one of the key researchers at the forefront of theoretical cosmology and has made many significant contributions to the field. He is best known for his theories of eternal cosmic inflation, creation of the universe from nothing, and for his groundbreaking work on cosmic strings. He is the director of the Tufts Institute of Cosmology....

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DELIA PERLOV's research interests are focused on the eternally inflating multiverse, and touch on various aspects of cosmology, string theory, quantum field theory and general relativity. She got her Ph.D. from Tufts University and then spent several years working as a postdoctoral fellow, also at Tufts, where she now lectures on a part-time basis.


ALEX VILENKIN has been one of the key researchers at the forefront of theoretical cosmology and has made many significant contributions to the field. He is best known for his theories of eternal cosmic inflation, creation of the universe from nothing, and for his groundbreaking work on cosmic strings. He is the director of the Tufts Institute of Cosmology.   

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