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Best way for a layman to get up to speed on cosmology outside of school

  1. Jan 2, 2008 #1
    I got as far as Calc 2 in college, took some college physics and read lots of popular cosmology books. What if I want to get technical now? What specific math do I need to know to fast track it without learning things that are irrelevant? It's too late to go back to school now.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2008 #2


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    Have a look at Lineweaver Inflation and the CMB

    it has equations, but they are easy equations
    the graphs and figures are really helpful.
    a lot of things are explained in a clear mathematical way without the math being especially hard
    start playing around with the java cosmology calculators at Ned Wright's site and also
    the one at Morgan's site that converts redshift to recession speed.
    when you start with it, put in three standard parameters
    matter density 0.27
    Lambda density 0.73
    Hubble parameter 71

    To find Ned Wright's cosmology calculators, just google Ned Wright

    Here is a basic SciAm cosmoogy article by Lineweaver NOT technical (so not what you asked for) but valuable anyway
    Misconceptions about the Big Bang.
    http://www.astro.princeton.edu/~aes/AST105/Readings/misconceptionsBigBang.pdf [Broken]

    Here are the class materials links for a Princeton General Astronomy course, see if anything there is useful
    http://www.astro.princeton.edu/~aes/AST105/syllabus.notes.html [Broken]


    FOR GENERAL RELATIVITY there is Sean Carroll's online textbook at the LivingReviews site. I can't personally recommend but people do use it as a textbook and he's a talented expository writer.


    this is just a start. Other people will have other suggestions, I hope. I'll be interested to see what the others recommend.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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