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Suggestion for cosmology overview

  1. Nov 18, 2017 #1
    I was wondering if I could get suggestions for good general-background book on cosmology and the development/evolution of the universe. This is for myself, and I'll leave any more specifics to the topics open as I'd be look into whatever suggestions I receive. I'm a biophysicist, and back in undergrad (14 years ago, ack!) was a chemical physics major, with more of an emphasis in physics. I took modern physics and quantum back then, and remember it qualitatively if not quantitatively. I have a decent mathematical background, but this will be read during my down time and I probably won't want to be doing any hardcore derivations. :-) Thanks!

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  3. Nov 19, 2017 #2

    Wrichik Basu

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  4. Nov 19, 2017 #3


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    Liddle is a very accesible introduction :)
  5. Nov 19, 2017 #4


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    Try A. Liddle's 'An introduction to modern cosmology'.
    It's short and concise (mere ~200 pages). The mathematical part is kept relatively simple and notations are clear. Advanced physics background is not required, as general relativity is mostly avoided.
    In a pinch, you can even skim over the equations, and still retain reasonably good qualitative understanding of the material - although with your background that should not be a problem.

    Another tentative recommendation is J. Silk's 'Big Bang'. I've only read it in fragments, hence the 'tentative' qualifier. From what I've seen, though, it has a much broader scope, including topics on localised evolution (stars, galaxies). Although technically a textbook, it is much more words than equations, the latter being relegated to appendices - it is arguably a better choice if you're looking for a more casual read, closer to what a popular science book would give you.
  6. Nov 20, 2017 #5


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    I recommend M. Lachieze-Rey, Cosmology: A First Course
  7. Nov 20, 2017 #6
    Amazon review says the book is quite outdated. Is it?
  8. Nov 21, 2017 #7


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    It is written in 1992, so it does not discuss the most recent observational data such as accelerated expansion and dark energy. But it does not contain claims which today would be considered wrong, and theoretical concepts considered there are not outdated at all.
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