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Maths book needed, for leading to cosmology

  1. Aug 4, 2007 #1
    Hi all,

    First post here, so hello!

    Anyway, im a 16 year old high school student. I have always had an interest in astronomy which led to, over the last few years, an interest in cosmology. I have read a whole lot of 'popular scientist' type material on cosmology, Brief History of Time, ect ect. Anyway, im at the point now where im repeating myself.

    Instead of someone telling me 'equations say this is the case', I want to be able to understand the maths behind it. Unfortunately, I am a 16 year old kid in New Zealand. The education system over here doesn't include any calculus in maths (oh why didn't I stay in england!). So, by the looks of it, I'm aiming to teach myself all the maths required for understanding cosmology. I'm in my final year of school now, so I have quite a good grasp of algebra, and other basic maths. The first thing I want to teach myself is basic calculus, as that opens a lot of doorways.

    SO can anyone reccomend a good book (or if more then one, if it helps!) to learn calculus, quite literally from scratch. I guess I have a teacher for help, but I wouldn't count on them knowing much. I have been looking at some precalculus books, and I dont know everything taught inside them, so I think I also need to learn precalculus. Also, if anyone has any experience in cosmology, can anyone reccomend books where I can begin applying maths to it?

    I might be biting of a bigger chunk then I can chew, as I know this is what universities educate people to do. But I have self taught myself a lot of things (I'm fluent in Esperanto, an international language I self taught myself over the internet). So any advice is hugely appreciated!

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2007 #2
    Hi Richard, here's my stuff on calculus and related books of math:

    * Elementary calculus
    * A quick guide to mathematical jargon
    * Visual calculus
    * calculus.org - The calculus page
    * Textbooks and lecture notes in mathematics
    * And don't forget Wikibooks.

    And for cosmology: arXiv.org cosmology preprints. This gets into some deeper physics, so also check out Review literature in high energy particle physics (which covers more than just particle physics).

    Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me if you'd like me to attempt to teach calculus off the top of my head ;)

    - Bryan

    Edit - the last time I posted on a topic like this it was more geared towards engineering, but it is still useful to point out.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2007
  4. Aug 9, 2007 #3
    Hi Bryan, thanks for all the links! I have been working over some of the maths pages over the last few days and they are great, and I'm making progress on them. I cant wait to get stuck into those cosmology papers! They look brilliant.

    And also, thanks for offering to teach me! I certainly wont trouble you to teach me everything, but its good to know when I get stuck, I have someone there to help! Thanks again!

  5. Aug 9, 2007 #4
    Gravity From the Ground Up by Schutz may have enough math to be challenging, but not so much that it is overwhelming. The book covers a lot of ground, but only the last 70 or so pages are explicity about cosmology.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  6. Aug 13, 2007 #5
    Wow, that book looks like exactly what I had in mind. I cant thank you enough, I had no idea books existed that use (simple) algebra applied! I will be ordering it ASAP. Thanks!
  7. Oct 3, 2007 #6
    Sorry for dead-thread-reviving, but I just wanted to say a HUGE thanks to Daverz. This book could not of possibly been better. I cant believe I spent all this time reading pop science, when the real stuff is out here. I reccomend Gravity From the Ground Up to ANYONE interested. I haven't even finished high school maths, and I am coping fine. How much you understand, its amazing. Thanks again!
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