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The First Three Minutes - Steven Weinberg

  1. Mar 16, 2015 #1
    I have just finished reading (devouring) Steven Weinberg's _The First Three Minutes_ 1988 update, Basic Books.


    I found it both enjoyable and edifying. Clearly there has been a lot of water over the dam since its 1977 publication and 1988 update. Could anyone suggest some reading of a generally comparable depth, level of required background, and possible pedigree that brings the discussed subject matter somewhat closer to the present state of our understanding?

    I realize that this is a tall order, considering the quality of the aforementioned book, but any suggestions that might come somewhere close would be most appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2015 #2

    Doug Huffman

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  4. Mar 16, 2015 #3


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    Diogenes, I share your admiration for that book but I do not share Doug's recommendation for Susskind as a followup. Weinberg was very wise to increase his audience by relegating the math to a supplement, thus making it accessible to amateurs like me who do not want to go that far into the math. Susskind's is a more formal and rigorous course and does not at all skip the math. If you DO want to get into it with the math, then Susskind is good.
  5. Mar 17, 2015 #4


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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  6. Mar 17, 2015 #5
    All suggestions are much appreciated.

    Doug, I suspect that phinds may be correct and that the Suskind lectures may be a bit too mathematically hardcore for me. I am essentially looking for something that might be at the level of Weinberg's _The First Three Minutes_ but brought up to the current understanding.... more or less.

    Wabbit, your citation is unfortunately not in the library, however other stuff by Martin Bojowald is..... May take a gander there....
    Hmmm.... The Amazon reviews are certainly encouraging.... I just jotted down all the publication details. I think I will submit a library acquisition request.

    Again much thanks for any and all direction on this subject, and I still continue to solicit suggestions.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  7. Mar 17, 2015 #6


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    Yes I m not sure about it, from the reviews it seems to be squarely on the "wider audience" side compared to his published papers but... The book was mentionned in this forum too and the reviews are a bit mixed, e.g. https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/bojowalds-popular-level-book.451337/
  8. Mar 17, 2015 #7

    Geez.... now that I read that thread, I am momentarily stuffing my library request back into my notebook. May still take a look at it tho.

    To all: I am still looking for any/all recommendations.

    Thanks again,

  9. Mar 17, 2015 #8


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    Have you read Alan Guth's 'The inflationary universe'? It's on a similar level, maybe a bit less dry. Concerns mostly inflation, and the history behind the idea, but also brings up to date with general status of cosmology... as of 20 years ago, so it's not the freshest bun in the basket either. Still, that's a two-decade improvement over Weinberg's book.

    The one problem I had with the book was that I found it focused a bit too much on the history and anecdotes over the meaty, sciency bits. On the other hand, it does make it an easier read.
  10. Mar 19, 2015 #9
    Thanks for the rec. Just requested it from the library (it's in the closed stacks).

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