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The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is the radiation left over from the Big Bang. Recent analysis of the fluctuations in this radiation has given us valuable insights into our Universe and its parameters. Examining the theory of CMB and recent developments, this textbook starts with a brief introduction to modern cosmology and its main successes, followed by a thorough derivation of cosmological perturbation theory. It then explores the generation of initial fluctuations by inflation. The Boltzmann equation governs the evolution of CMB anisotropies and polarization is derived using the total angular momentum method. Cosmological parameter estimation and the lensing of CMB fluctuations and spectral distortions are also discussed. This textbook is the first to contain a full derivation of the theory of CMB anisotropies and polarization. Ideal for graduate students and researchers in this field, it includes end-of-chapter exercises, and solutions to selected exercises are provided.
Preface; 1. The homogeneous and isotropic universe; 2. Perturbation theory; 3. Initial conditions; 4. CMB anisotropies; 5. CMB polarization and the total angular momentum approach; 6. Cosmological parameter estimation; 7. Lensing and the CMB; 8. The CMB spectrum; Appendixes; References; Index.
Ruth Durrer is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Universite de Geneve. Her research focuses on the cosmic microwave background, cosmic magnetic fields, and braneworld cosmology.
'... I believe this to be a very interesting and useful textbook which I recommend highly.' The Observatory 'Professor Durrer has undertaken the admirable endeavour to explain the theory of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) in a textbook, aimed at graduate students and researchers ... I believe that Professor Durrer's book is a masterpiece which appears at exactly the right time. Although it superbly covers a remarkably broad range of subjects, it leaves the impression of being written with ease. From the first to the last page, it is a pleasure to read, and it is an extremely rich source of knowledge and insight. It illustrates and summarises the physics of one of the cornerstones of modern cosmology and it will certainly serve generations of graduate students and researchers as an inspiring guide to CMB physics.' General Relativity and Gravitation