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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:11 am 
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Hi,

Can anyone recommend a book to get me reasonably "up to speed" on current cosmological thinking? I'm okay with a bit of mathematics.

Thanks,

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:46 am 
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david entwistle wrote:
Hi,

Can anyone recommend a book to get me reasonably "up to speed" on current cosmological thinking? I'm okay with a bit of mathematics.

Thanks,


Hi David,
I have got a very good book I would recommend..

COSMOLOGY The Origin and Evolution Of Cosmic Structure (second edition)
Peter Coles, Francesco Lucchin
ISBN 0-471-48909-3

All the best
Dave

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 9:03 am 
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Davej wrote:

Hi David,
I have got a very good book I would recommend..

COSMOLOGY The Origin and Evolution Of Cosmic Structure (second edition)
Peter Coles, Francesco Lucchin
ISBN 0-471-48909-3

All the best
Dave


Hi Dave,

Thanks for the quick response - I've got a copy on order from Amazon (other book retailers are available).

COSMOLOGY The Origin and Evolution Of Cosmic Structure (second edition)

Best wishes,

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Dear David and Davej
David :- I was interested to see your query asking about possible good books about cosmology.
Davej :- I was interested to see your response.
I might be interested in reading such book myself not having seen much in my local book stores that really inspire me recently.
David - I'll be interested to see what you think about the book Davej has suggested, if you both recommend it that might indicate it a good bet.
However, I did get three books recently, two of them being paperbacks (me not wanting to lash out much cash on books that might disappoint me - "new theories of everything" by J.D. Barrow, and "The Great Equations" by R. Crease. I haven't read either yet but I think
the latter, ie Crease's book seems to be historic stuff not in keeping with your needs.
My third acquisition "Seeing Further" by, or rather edited by Bill Bryson, which I am half way through, isn't really what I think you are after, but it might have some things of interest for you (?) - little of its £20's worth being about cosmology.
Best of luck from Cliff


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:42 pm 
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COSMOLOGY: The Origin and Evolution of Cosmic Structure, second edition, by Peter Coles and Francesco Lucchin arrived this morning.

It's a hefty read at just under 500 printed pages in a 178 x 251 mm format. I haven't had chance to do anything other than have a quick look, but it's got the following headings:
    Part 1 Cosmological Models
      1. First Principles
      2. The Friedmann Models
      3. Alternative Cosmologies
      4. Observational Properties of the Universe
    Part 2 The Hot Big Bang Model
      5. Thermal History of the Hot Big Bang Model
      6. The Very Early Universe
      7. Phase Transitions and Inflation
      8. The Lepton Era
      9. The Plasma Era
    Part 3 The Theory of Structure Formation
      10. Introduction to Jeans Theory
      11. Gravitational Instability of Baryonic Matter
      12. Non-baryonic Matter
      13. Cosmological Perturbations
      14. Nonlinear Evolution
      15. Models of Structure Formation
    Part 4 Observational Tests
      16. Statistics of Galaxy Clustering
      17. The Cosmic Microwave Background
      18. Peculiar Motions of Galaxies
      19. Gravitational Lensing
      20. The High-Redshift Universe
      21. A Forward Look
    Appendix A. Physical Constants
    Appendix B. Useful Astronomical Quantities
    Appendix C. Particle Properties
    References


It's no surprise that there's lots of mathematics, but the accompanying dialogue seems to explain things well. I think I'll find it a challenging read, but I'm certainly looking forward to the effort. I'll attempt to add some additional comments as I work through the book. It certainly looks very promising. Thanks very much for recommending it Davej.

PS

Cliff, Thanks for the additional book suggestions.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:07 pm 
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Dear David and DaveJ
Best of luck with the book. It sounds interesting but I'm a slow reader and I might have difficulty finishing it - irrespective of any maths are involved. However, the thought of getting my head round all the gen and the possibility of then finding they got it wrong would really naff me off.
That said Chapter 3 - "Alternative Cosmologies, sounds interesting !!!!!.
I just got "New Scientist" 11 July magazine which briefly reviews "The Big Questions:The Universe" by Stuart Clarke (Quercus £12-99p) which I think will be more appropriate for me - his Sun Kings is one of my favourite reads.
Incidentally, I just downloaded the Sun e-mag you mentioned - at first glance it looks brilliant to me.
Bst of luck from Cliff


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 5:53 pm 
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Dear David and DaveJ
I gave up on trying to understand the maths of relativity a while ago and since then have half given up on trying to grasp modern cosmology.
However, yesterday in Manchester Waterstones I found "A User Guide to the Universe" by Dave Goldberg & Jeff Bloomquist. It looks very easy reading less than 300 pages big print and hardback (Wiley & Sons 2010).
Best wishes from Cliff


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:10 pm 
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Hi David and Cliff,
I know this is an old thread but I thought you might find this book interesting.
Just seen it in Waterstones (rather expensive .. £25, but it looks very good).

Brian Greene .. "The Hidden Reality : Parallell Universes and Deep Laws of the Cosmos"

http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Reality-Pa ... 0307265633

If you click on the book cover you can get an idea of the contents.

Seriously considering this book.

All the best
Dave

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:39 pm 
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I've just been reading The Cosmic Century: A History of Astrophysics and Cosmology, by Malcolm Longair. It's not cheap, but is an excellent book.

The book is organized into five parts:

    Part I Stars and Stellar evolution up to the Second World War
    Part II The large-scale structures of the Universe, 1900 - 1939
    Part III The opening up of the electromagnetic spectrum
    Part IV The astrophysics of stars and galaxies since 1945
    Part V Astrophysical cosmology since 1945
Each part provides a clear and comprehensive review of the developments in the subject putting each one into a historical perspective. The book includes a very comprehensive (50 pages) reference section and separate name and subject indexes. Many of the chapters include additional notes to explain the subject in greater depth without detracting from the narrative of the text. I found it difficult to put down and I'm sure I'll be referring to it again and again.

The Cosmic Century: A History of Astrophysics and Cosmology
    * Malcolm S. Longair, University of Cambridge
    * Hardback
    * ISBN: 9780521474368
    * Publication date: June 2006
    * 565 pages
    * 177 b/w illus. 10 tables
    * Dimensions: 247 x 174 mm
    * Weight: 1.274 kg


Quote:
The twentieth-century witnessed the development of astrophysics and cosmology from subjects which scarcely existed to two of the most exciting and demanding areas of contemporary scientific inquiry. In this book Malcolm Longair reviews the historical development of the key areas of modern astrophysics, linking the strands together to show how they have led to the extraordinarily rich panorama of modern astrophysics and cosmology. While many of the great discoveries were derived from pioneering observations, the emphasis is upon the development of theoretical concepts and how they came to be accepted. These advances have led astrophysicists and cosmologists to ask some of the deepest questions about the nature of our Universe and have pushed astronomical observations to the very limit. This is a fantastic story, and one which would have defied the imaginations of even the greatest story-tellers.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:11 pm 
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Dear David
Interesting - however although you mention the book is expensive I didn't notice the actual cost ?
Good though the book might be I suspect I might find it heavy going particularly since as I get older I find it harder to concebtrate on complicated matters (not that I was ever much good though).
I see you mentioned the book's weight which might cause me concern because over the years I have picked up a few "big" astronomy picture books in bookstores and found them very uncomfortable to handle or even hold on my knees any length of time. So a heavy big complicted book would be a menace for me _ I'd prefer two seperate lighter volumes.
Your "final" quote also intrigues me in mentionig "have pushed astronomical observations to the very limit"
What bothers me is not that the observations have been pushed to the limit but possibly the conclusions reached from studying the observations may have been pushed beyond the limit.
However, I speak more as a layman than real scientist so I might be being over-sceptical about that.
Best wishes from Cliff
Best wishes from Cliff


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 1:46 pm 
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Dear David
Not a recommendation suggestion but I thought it slightly relevant.
Someone somewhere else another part of this chat forum mentioned this matter (I think it was Mike Feist) and it stuck in my mind.
ie the suggestion that book publishers and importantly technical book publishers may be skimping on editting and checking out new books before mass publication. I think the suggestion is they use "improperly qualified people to do the checking.
If Mogget is reading this I'll go one further and suggets publishers are possibly relying too much on computers and their associated spell checkers.
I recently got "The Astronomy Data Book" by Moore and Rees. If I recall correctly the chapter about Mars refers to what I'll call Mars' sand particles has being "100 mm" in size - I suspect the original authors wrote different units and the publishers changed them to "mm".
Best wishes from Cliff


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 2:24 pm 
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Probably intended to be "μm."


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 3:14 pm 
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Dear Stella
I hope you are right.
But just in case I've cancelled my summer trip to Mars there's no way I want to go if half bricks are flying round in Martian Dust Storms.
Here I come - Liby............ second thoughts perhaps not, probably as bad as Libya on Mars.
Best wishes from Cliff


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:14 am 
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Never mind Cliff, there's always Blackpool.

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