- Hardcover: 237 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 1 edition (October 18, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805389121
- ISBN-13: 978-0805389128
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #882,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Introduction to Cosmology 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
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. For anyone interested in cosmology or astronomy.
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Because it is so well explained, this text would be suitable for self study. Another excellent text, at a similar level, is by Andrew Liddle. More advanced are the texts by Steven Weinberg (Cosmology), Dodelson, Peacock (Cosmological Physics) and Coles and Lucchin.
I suppose it might be more difficult at the undergraduate level but if you understand integral calculus, basic ODEs, and a smattering of QM, EM, differential geometry (very little needed), and a bit of thermal physics then this book is for you. At the graduate level it reads almost like a popular science book on cosmology with the perk that the included equations and the author's very readable and clear explanations illuminate the subject in a way that a math free book never could.
I give this book an easy 5 stars as an introduction for cosmology. I consider it to be 'A Brief History of Time' for graduate students with an interest in the field. It is somewhat skimpy on presenting dark energy and inflationary theory but the first lacks the evidence that dark matter does and the second is beyond the mathematical scope of a book at this level.
Over all I'd suggest this book to anyone with a basic background in the pre-requisites. Andrew Liddle's book is more readable (freshman calculus only) but is much skimpier on coverage, is much less thorough and clear, and is somewhat dated in the treatment of hot dark matter Cosmology. Doddelson's book is good as well but requires a much stronger basis in mathematics. If you are looking for the 'meat' of cosmology (general relativity, perturbation equations, etc.) look elsewhere. If you want a broad and easily digestible analytic presentation then look no further.
Two thumbs up for the author, the exposition and organization are about as flawless as I've seen in any textbook.