1st Edition

Principles of Cosmology and Gravitation





ISBN 9780852740378
Published January 1, 1989 by CRC Press
179 Pages

USD $77.95

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Book Description

General relativity and quantum mechanics have become the two central pillars of theoretical physics. Moreover, general relativity has important applications in astrophysics and high-energy particle physics. Covering the fundamentals of the subject, Principles of Cosmology and Gravitation describes the universe as revealed by observations and presents a theoretical framework to enable important cosmological formulae to be derived and numerical calculations performed. Avoiding elaborate formal discussions, the book presents a practical approach that focuses on the general theory of relativity. It examines different evolutionary models and the gravitational effects of massive bodies. The book also includes a large number of worked examples and problems, half with solutions.

Table of Contents

COSMOGRAPHY
What the universe contains
The cosmic distance hierarchy and the determination of galactic densities
The red shift and the expansion of the universe

PHYSICAL BASIS OF GENERAL RELATIVITY
The need for relativistic ideas and a theory of gravitation

DIFFICULTIES WITH NEWTONIAN MECHANICS
Gravity and inertial frames and absolute space
Inadequacy of special relativity.
Mach's principle and gravitational waves
Einstein's principle of equivalence

CURVED SPACETIME AND THE PHYSICAL MATHEMATICS OF GENERAL RELATIVITY
Particle paths and the separation between events. Geodesics. Curved spaces. Curvature and gravitation

GENERAL RELATIVITY NEAR MASSIVE OBJECTS
Spacetime near an isolated mass
Around the world with clocks
Precession of the perihelion of Mercury
Deflection of light
Radar echoes from planets
Black holes

COSMIC KINEMATICS
Spacetime for the smoothed-out universe
Red shifts and horizons
Apparent luminosity
Galactic densities and the darkness of the night sky
Number counts

COSMIC DYNAMICS
Gravitation and the cosmic fluid
Histories of model universes
The steady state theory
Cosmologies in which the strength of gravity varies

IN THE BEGINNING
Cosmic black-body radiation
Condensation of galaxies
Ylem

APPENDIX A: Labeling astronomical objects
APPENDIX B: Theorema egregium
PROBLEMS
SOLUTIONS TO ODD-NUMBERED PROBLEMS
USEFUL NUMBERS
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX

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Reviews

"… very successful introduction and treatment … exceptionally methodical … deserves to be read and recommended as an introduction. … I recommended this book in 1976 and I will continue to do so."
-Space Science Reviews

"… an ideal text for undergraduates studying cosmology …"
-Europe and Astronomy