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Good 1st year grad level texts in galaxies and cosmology

  1. Oct 4, 2015 #1
    I'm looking for some appropriate 1st year, or possibly 2nd year, level grad texts on galaxies and cosmology. The grad course at my university requires Cosmological Physics by Peacock and Galaxy Formation by Longair. I've noticed many old cosmology course websites require Weinberg or Dodelson or Binney; though from what I have seen Dodelson might be better for me since I will be self-studying for a year or two (likely going to sit in on some classes for some background material and hopefully get some references haha) before I consider applying to grad school. As for Binney, I'm not interested in dynamics and his book from 1998 seems outdated from what I have read. I've also read on the forums that Dodelson might be better suited for people with a background in particle physics; I would much rather learn from the astrophysical perspective. So do any of you have suggestions for which cosmology and which galaxy book I should get? Are the books by Peacock and Longair solid to learn from? Please note, my background is a completed bachelors with a double major in physics and astronomy so hopefully that gives you a sense of what to recommend. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2015 #2


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    Not sure I understand the claim about Dodelson being better suited to people with a particle physics background: most early universe work does involve a decent understanding of particle physics and other high energy phenomena. I'm not sure how one gets around that.

    I wouldn't be super concerned with "old" textbooks. If you're trying to build a foundational understanding of cosmology and structure formation (vs doing cutting-edge research), you don't need the latest and greatest. For example, Kolb and Turner is from 1994 and I still reach for it regularly. The early chapters on thermal history and the one on structure formation are excellent.
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