An Introduction to the Science of Cosmology: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

An Introduction to the Science of Cosmology

1st Edition

By Derek Raine, E.G. Thomas

CRC Press

232 pages

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Paperback: 9780750304054
pub: 2001-08-01
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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.

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

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

About the Series

Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCI005000
SCIENCE / Astrophysics & Space Science
SCI055000
SCIENCE / Physics