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An Introduction to Modern Cosmology 2nd Edition

24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470848357
ISBN-10: 0470848359
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Editorial Reviews


"...complete and excellent introduction of cosmology, and at this level it is hard to beat...highly recommended." (Choice, Vol. 41, No. 6, February 2004)

From the Back Cover

An Introduction to Modern Cosmology Second Edition is an accessible account of modern cosmological ideas.  The Big Bang Cosmology is explored, looking at its observational successes in explaining the expansion and age of the universe, the existence and properties of the cosmic microwave background, and the origin of the light elements in the universe.  Properties of the very early universe are also covered, including the motivation for the theory known as cosmological inflation.  The Second Edition includes additiional material on observational cosmology and structure formation.

  • Approach grounded in physics rather than mathematics.
  • Worked examples, student problems, hints for solving them and numerical answers.
  • Latest observational results including WMAP satellite.
  • New website with updates, full colour images and links to further information.

Published reviews of the First Edition:

"..a clear, concise and accessible book" New Scientist

" of the clearest introductions to cosmology on the market"  Contemporary Physics

See all Editorial Reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (May 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470848359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470848357
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.5 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Phil on August 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
I came across this book because it was required reading for my cosmology course. The book gives a Newtonian (it only briefly mentions the much more complicated General Relativity equations) overview of the current theories about the universe: its mass, its age, its shape and its ultimate destiny. The text is very readable, equations are explained properly and the diagrams are useful. The reader is left with a good impression of why the currently proposed cosmological models are sensible.
The book puts the case for the hot big bang model, which is by far the most popular cosmological model at this time. There is a chapter on the successes of this model: explanation of the cosmic background radiation, universal expansion, and the relative abundance of elements in the early universe. There follows a chapter on the major problems of this model: how come the background radiation looks the same (to within one part in a hundred thousand) everywhere, even when light hasn't had time to travel between all these regions? How did the universe become structured (into things such as stars) when physics predicts that matter should be homogeneously spread? And why does the universe (seemingly) possess the exact right density (to almost infinitessimal precision) to stay flat, as we see it today? Inflation theory offers some help, but at the same time asks a bigger question: which of the many inflation theories (if any) is right? Liddle doesn't go into much detail on this point, but you get a good introduction into what inflation is and why such an odd theory would be proposed.
I'm making it sound as if the big bang model has more problems than it solves, which I don't think it does (heck, it's the best theory we've got). But the problems are more interesting!
On which subject, there are problems (solvable ones!) at the end of each chapter, with brief solutions at the end of the book.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is the most clearly written book I have ever read. Liddle has a knack for making difficult concepts easy to comprehend through his use of analogies and vividly accurate descriptions. The cosmological ideas are explained at an intuitive level and have been imprinted on my mind forever. This book is a great introduction for the less mathematically minded though also a great source of information for others. This book book covers a great amount of cosmology the big bang, nucloesynthesis, inflation, cosmological models etc and is set out in a very logical order. I would thoroughly recommend this as an introduction although for those interested in more mathematical rigour other text books may be necessary.
Well done Dr. Liddle ! A great achievement .............
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Yang Li on May 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
That is a very good introduction book to cosmology at an undergraduate level. Although there are not many complicated equations, the physics ideas are very clear. It covers a lot of materials with easy-to-understand languages. The big bang model is the main part, with concise introduction to dark matter/energy, neuclosynthesis, cosmic microwave background, inflation etc. After reading this book, you will have a general idea about most of the concepts in cosmology and about what is going on in modern cosmology. Each chapter is accompanied by some problems, which are good exercise to understand the context. But I think it is a little outdated now, so maybe you should buy the 2nd edition.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andy Gregory on March 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a highly readable introduction to Cosmology. The author states clearly that the approach is grounded in physics rather than mathematics and indeed, any reader with a basic grasp of single-variable calculus would cope with the derivations that are presented. Its ready accessibility would make it an enjoyable introduction for those working on their own wanting more than a 'popular 'account of Cosmology.I have adapted and used some of the material and problems for my year 13 physics class.
The main body of the book is self-contained and requires no further material for the interested reader to get to grips with the rudiments of the standard cosmological models. More complex results are stated without derivation and some are used as the basis for the exercises. The 'Advanced' topics require a little more of the reader and are presented as brief summaries rather than being rigorous. For example ,the chapter on General Relativistic Cosmology is 'for those readers who have experienced some general relativity'. As a teacher of physics,I found this book to be a very useful addition to my library.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By No one on June 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book about cosmology, the origin and nature of the universe on the largest scales (nothing as small as a star system). I bought the book without knowing anything about cosmology so I was a little surprised by that. I found the book very accessible as just an engineering grad just by reading the descriptive text and not thinking too hard about some of the complicated equations presented throughout the work. But it is somewhat like a textbook and has great problems you can work through at the end of each chapter if you feel inclined to tackle them and sharpen your understanding. I didn't, I was amazed enough just to learn things like how scientists can theorize about the nature of the universe the tiniest fraction of a second after the big bang, why you can see the the cosmic microwave background (at all) and the earliest times of the universe pointing a telescope in any direction, why it is that galaxies cluster along filaments, what the "observable" universe amounts to, how scientists can infer the existence of non-baryonic dark matter, and other very interesting things I'm sorry to have never been exposed to in school. There are some "Advanced Topics" at the end of the book. Read them like ordinary chapters.

Bottom line is that if any of that sounds interesting to you and you can gain quite a lot just from reading the text and thinking about the relationships between the variables in the equations presented with college student's background or less. If you want to study it more deeply, you can do that too!
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