The History of the Universe

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Springer, Oct 6, 2015 - Science - 120 pages

This book gives an accessible account of the history of the Universe; not only what happened, but why it happened. An author of textbooks on the early Universe and inflation, David Lyth now explains both cosmology and the underlying physics to the general reader. The book includes a detailed account of the almost imperceptible structure in the early Universe, and its probable origin as a quantum fluctuation during an early epoch known as the epoch of inflation. It also explains how that early structure is visible now in the cosmic microwave radiation which is our main source of information about the early Universe, and how it gave rise to galaxies and stars.

The main text of the book assumes no knowledge of mathematics or physics so that it is accessible to everybody, while an appendix contains more advanced material. As a result the book will be useful for a wide spectrum of readers, including high-school students, undergraduates, postgraduates and professional physicists working in areas other than cosmology. It will also serve as “additional reading” for university courses in general astronomy, astrophysics or cosmology itself.

 

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Contents

1 The Universe
1
2 Before We Begin
7
3 The Fundamental Theories
10
4 Atoms and Electromagnetism
17
5 The Present Universe
25
6 Collisions and Decays
31
7 A First Look at the History
37
8 Energy Density of the Universe
44
12 Galaxy Formation
63
13 The Higgs Field
66
14 Inflation
71
15 Generating the Perturbation
75
16 Prehistory of the Big Bang
78
17 What About Us?
85
A More Detail with Some Mathematics
87
B Tables
107

9 In the Beginning
49
10 Friedmann Tells the Time
53
11 Ripples in the Universe
57
Glossary
110
Index
117
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

David Lyth is an Emeritus Professor of Physics at Lancaster University. He has made several key advances in cosmology and was awarded the 2012 Hoyle medal by the Institute of Physics. Prof Lyth has written two cosmology textbooks with Andrew Liddle: "Cosmological Inflation and Large Scale Structure" (2000) and "The Primordial Density Perturbation" (2009).

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