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Cosmological Physics


By: John A Peacock

682 pages, Figs

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 1999 | #115470 | ISBN: 0521422701
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NHBS Price: £65.99 $89/€74 approx

About this book

This eagerly-awaited textbook provides advanced undergraduate and graduate students with a complete introduction to modern cosmology. It successfully bridges the gap between undergraduate and advanced graduate texts by discussing topics of current research, starting from first principles. Throughout this authoritative volume, emphasis is given to the simplest, most intuitive explanation for key equations used by researchers. The first third of the book carefully develops the necessary background in general relativity and quantum fields. The rest of the book then provides self-contained accounts of all the key topics in contemporary cosmology, including inflation, topological defects, gravitational lensing, galaxy formation, large-scale structure and the distance scale. To aid understanding, the book is well illustrated with helpful figures and includes outline solutions to nearly 100 problems. All necessary astronomical jargon is clearly explained, ensuring the book is self-contained for any student with undergraduate physics.

'I know no other book that covers these wide-ranging topics with such authority.' Professor Sir Martin Rees, FRS, University of Cambridge 'Peacock has done an excellent job of setting out astrophysical cosmology and its underlying physics. This book is sure to be a hit with both professors and students. Cosmology with just the right touch of general relativity and quantum physics.' Professor John Huchra, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics '! a truly magnificent achievement. I will certainly adopt it for my courses ! [includes] all the most recent important observational developments ! and a very thorough pedagogical treatment of the relevant background physics ! I am sure this will become one of the classic texts in cosmology.' Professor Richard Ellis, FRS, University of Cambridge 'Peacock's Cosmological Physics ambitiously fills the void for introducing students with a strong undergraduate background in physics to the entire world of current physical cosmology. The majestic sweep of his discussion of this vast terrain is awesome, and is bound to capture the imagination of most students ! The avalanche of ideas rapidly, but not breathlessly, coaxes the reader straight into the excitement of the field ! an impressive overview of cosmology as a physical science. This abundance will communicate the widespread excitement of the subject as fundamental physics, and will inspire others to learn the details.' Ray Carlberg, Nature '! a remarkable book, both for its scope and for its depth of understanding. I was frankly amazed to see subjects as diverse as ! all treated with authority and precision.' Physics Today '! an extraordinary achievement. [Peacock] has succeeded in condensing the essence of modern astrophysical cosmology and particle physics into a single text. It is all written with his characteristic insight and economy of expression. The results is an extraordinary panorama of many of the hottest issues in contemporary science, all done with mathematical precision and total authority. This book is an essential purchase for all physicists and astronomers.' Professor Malcolm Longair, University of Cambridge 'Should excite and challenge advanced physics undergraduates and help them to make the transition from learning standard material to research.' Professor Roger Blandford, FRS, California Institute of Technology 'Cosmological Physics is a thorough, authoritative tome that grew out of a set of lectures. John Peacock covers the astronomical and observational foundations of the subject, as well as the essentials of general relativity and quantum field physics, in considerable detail.' David Hughes, New Scientist 'This volume is really a very detailed and comprehensive introduction to modern cosmology ! sensible to the current questions addressed by contemporary cosmology.' Reviews of Astronomical Tools 'Cosmological Physics is a truly first class text book'. Contemporary Physics '! the material is so well organized, illustrated, and written that the whole is much more than the sum of the parts. The end product is a truly remarkable achievement. It is accessible to undergraduate physics students yet contains a very great deal of interest to the experienced researcher. It covers a vast territory yet does not shirk on detail. It is immensely authoritative, yet readable throughout. No serious student, researcher, or senior academic working in this area can afford to be without this book. And it's very good value for money, particularly in paperback.' Peter Coles, The Observatory


Part I. Gravitation and Relativity: 1. Essentials of general relativity; 2. Astrophysical relativity; Part II. Classical Cosmology: 3. The isotropic universe; 4. Gravitational lensing; 5. The age and distance scales; Part III. Basics of Quantum Fields: 6. Quantum mechanics and relativity; 7. Quantum field theory; 8. The standard model and beyond; Part IV. The Early Universe: 9. The hot big bang; 10. Topological defects; 11. Inflationary cosmology; Part V. Observational Cosmology: 12. Matter in the universe; 13. Galaxies and their evolution; 14. Active galaxies; 15. Dynamics of structure formation; 16. Cosmological density fields; 17. Galaxy formation; 18. Cosmic background fluctuations; Hints for solutions to the problems; Bibliography and references; Useful numbers and formulae; Index.

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