1st Edition

An Introduction to the Science of Cosmology





ISBN 9780750304054
Published August 1, 2001 by CRC Press
232 Pages

USD $83.95

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Book 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.

Table of Contents

Preface

RECONSTRUCTING TIME
The patterns of the stars
Structural relics
Material relics
Ethereal relics
Cosmological principles
Theories
Problems

EXPANSION
The redshift
The expanding universe
The distance scale
The Hubble constant
The deceleration parameter
The age of the universe
The steady state theory
The evolving universe
Problems

MATTER
The mean mass density of the universe
Determining the matter density
The mean luminosity density
The mass to luminosity ratios of galaxies
The virial theorem
The mass to luminosity ratios of rich clusters
Baryonic matter
Intracluster gas
The gravitational lensing method
The intercluster medium
The non-baryonic dark matter
Dark matter candidates
The search for WIMPS
Antimatter
Appendix A: Derivation of the virial theorem
Problems

RADIATION
Sources of background radiation
The microwave background
The hot big bang
Radiation and expansion
Nevertheless it moves
The x-ray background
Problems

RELATIVITY
Introduction
Space geometry
Relativistic geometry
Isotropic and homogeneous geometry
Other forms of the metric
Open and closed spaces
Fundamental (or comoving) observers
Redshift
The velocity-distance law
Time dilation
The field equations
The dust universe
The relationship between redshift and time
Explicit solutions
Models with a cosmological constant
The radiation universe
Light propagation in an expanding universe
The Hubble sphere
The particle horizon
Alternative equations of state
Problems

MODELS
The classical tests
The Mattig relation
The angular diameter - redshift test
The apparent magnitude - redshift test
The geometry of number counts: theory
The timescale test
The lensed quasar test
Problems with big bang cosmology
The flatness problem
Alternative cosmologies
Problems

HOT BIG BANG
Introduction
Equilibrium thermodynamics
The plasma universe
The matter era
The radiation era
The era of equilibrium
The GUT era: baryogenesis
Photon to baryon ratio
Nucleosynthesis
The plasma era
Decoupling
Recombination
Last scattering
Perturbations
Appendix A: Thermal distributions
Appendix B: The Saha Equation
Appendix C: Constancy of ?
Problems

INFLATION
The horizon problem
The flatness problem
Origin of structure
Mechanisms
Fluctuations
Starting Inflation
Stopping inflation
Topological defects
Problems

STRUCTURE
The problem of structure
Observations
Surveys and catalogues
Large scale structures
Correlations
Bias
Growth of perturbations
The Jeans' mass
Adiabatic perturbations
Isocurvature (isothermal) perturbations
Superhorizon size perturbations
Dissipation
The spectrum of fluctuations
Structure formation in baryonic models
Dark matter models
Observations of the microwave background
Appendix A
Appendix B
Problems

EPILOGUE
Homogeneous anisotropy
Growing modes
The rotating universe
The arrow of time

REFERENCE MATERIAL
REFERENCES

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Reviews

"Provides a comprehensive account of the ideas underlying modern cosmology… . Problems are included to help the reader who wishes to gain a working knowledge of the subject."
- IEE INSPEC

"One will appreciate that the work is completely up-to-date and takes account of recent and significant developments in the subject."
- L'Astronomie

"Let it be said at the outset that Raine and Thomas have written a very good book … [They] already compete well with other books in this market, and their book has the potential to become the text that lecturers still have to dream about."
- John Peacock, The Observatory, vol. 122

"…they [the authors] deserve high praise … Most students will surely prefer this book's half page chapters to five-page ones … The book is well organized and the format is well thought out."
- Physics Today, January 2003