Cover image for An introduction to modern cosmology
An introduction to modern cosmology
Liddle, Andrew R.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Chichester ; Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, [2003]

Physical Description:
xv, 172 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QB981 .L567 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



An Introduction to Modern Cosmology Third Edition is an accessible account of modern cosmological ideas. The Big Bang Cosmology is explored, looking at its observational successes in explaining the expansion of the Universe, the existence and properties of the cosmic microwave background, and the origin of light elements in the universe. Properties of the very early Universe are also covered, including the motivation for a rapid period of expansion known as cosmological inflation. The third edition brings this established undergraduate textbook up-to-date with the rapidly evolving observational situation.

This fully revised edition of a bestseller takes an approach which is grounded in physics with a logical flow of chapters leading the reader from basic ideas of the expansion described by the Friedman equations to some of the more advanced ideas about the early universe. It also incorporates up-to-date results from the Planck mission, which imaged the anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation over the whole sky. The Advanced Topic sections present subjects with more detailed mathematical approaches to give greater depth to discussions. Student problems with hints for solving them and numerical answers are embedded in the chapters to facilitate the reader's understanding and learning.

Cosmology is now part of the core in many degree programs. This current, clear and concise introductory text is relevant to a wide range of astronomy programs worldwide and is essential reading for undergraduates and Masters students, as well as anyone starting research in cosmology.

Author Notes

Andrew Liddle is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Sussex.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Liddle (Univ. of Sussex, UK) offers a new edition of his book (1st ed., CH, Oct'99), aimed at introductory cosmology students. A good background in physics is required, but as the author points out, "the emphasis is aimed at physical intuition rather than mathematical rigor." The main updated addition is a section of advanced topics at the end of the book. They include general relativity, neutrino cosmology, baryogenesis, and structures in the universe. Some of the chapters have been rearranged, and the latest observational material on cosmology has been added. Overall, the book is complete and up-to-date. It is not as comprehensive as Scott Dodelson's Modern Cosmology (CH, Oct'03), or P.J.E. Peebles's Principles of Physical Cosmology (CH, Nov'93), but it would serve as a good introduction to the study of these and other more advanced books. The book offers a good selection of problems at the end of the chapters, with answers given at the end of the book, and numerous diagrams. Overall, an excellent introduction of cosmology, and at this level it is hard to beat. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. B. R. Parker emeritus, Idaho State University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Constants, conversion factors and symbolsp. xiv
1 A (Very) Brief History of Cosmological Ideasp. 1
2 Observational Overviewp. 3
2.1 In visible lightp. 3
2.2 In other wavebandsp. 7
2.3 Homogeneity and isotropyp. 8
2.4 The expansion of the Universep. 9
2.5 Particles in the Universep. 11
2.5.1 What particles are there?p. 11
2.5.2 Thermal distributions and the black-body spectrump. 13
3 Newtonian Gravityp. 17
3.1 The Friedmann equationp. 18
3.2 On the meaning of the expansionp. 21
3.3 Things that go faster than lightp. 21
3.4 The fluid equationp. 22
3.5 The acceleration equationp. 23
3.6 On mass, energy and vanishing factors of c[superscript 2]p. 24
4 The Geometry of the Universep. 25
4.1 Flat geometryp. 25
4.2 Spherical geometryp. 26
4.3 Hyperbolic geometryp. 28
4.4 Infinite and observable Universesp. 29
4.5 Where did the Big Bang happen?p. 29
4.6 Three values of kp. 30
5 Simple Cosmological Modelsp. 33
5.1 Hubble's lawp. 33
5.2 Expansion and redshiftp. 34
5.3 Solving the equationsp. 35
5.3.1 Matterp. 36
5.3.2 Radiationp. 37
5.3.3 Mixturesp. 38
5.4 Particle number densitiesp. 39
5.5 Evolution including curvaturep. 40
6 Observational Parametersp. 45
6.1 The expansion rate H[subscript 0]p. 45
6.2 The desnity parameter [Omega subscript 0]p. 47
6.3 The deceleration parameter q[subscript 0]p. 48
7 The Cosmological Constantp. 51
7.1 Introducing [Lambda]p. 51
7.2 Fluid description of [Lambda]p. 52
7.3 Cosmological models with [Lambda]p. 53
8 The Age of the Universep. 57
9 The Density of the Universe and Dark Matterp. 63
9.1 Weighing the Universep. 63
9.1.1 Counting starsp. 63
9.1.2 Nucleosynthesis foreshadowedp. 64
9.1.3 Galaxy rotation curvesp. 64
9.1.4 Galaxy cluster compositionp. 66
9.1.5 Bulk motions in the Universep. 67
9.1.6 The formation of structurep. 68
9.1.7 The geometry of the Universe and the brightness of supernovaep. 68
9.1.8 Overviewp. 69
9.2 What might the dark matter be?p. 69
9.3 Dark matter searchesp. 72
10 The Cosmic Microwave Backgroundp. 75
10.1 Properties of the microwave backgroundp. 75
10.2 The photon to baryon ratiop. 77
10.3 The origin of the microwave backgroundp. 78
10.4 The origin of the microwave background (advanced)p. 81
11 The Early Universep. 85
12 Nucleosynthesis: The Origin of the Light Elementsp. 91
12.1 Hydrogen and Heliump. 91
12.2 Comparing with observationsp. 94
12.3 Contrasting decoupling and nucleosynthesisp. 96
13 The Inflationary Universep. 99
13.1 Problems with the Hot Big Bangp. 99
13.1.1 The flatness problemp. 99
13.1.2 The horizon problemp. 101
13.1.3 Relic particle abundancesp. 102
13.2 Inflationary expansionp. 103
13.3 Solving the Big Bang problemsp. 104
13.3.1 The flatness problemp. 104
13.3.2 The horizon problemp. 105
13.3.3 Relic particle abundancesp. 106
13.4 How much inflation?p. 106
13.5 Inflation and particle physicsp. 107
14 The Initial Singularityp. 111
15 Overview: The Standard Cosmological Modelp. 115
Advanced Topic 1 General Relativistic Cosmologyp. 119
1.1 The metric of space-timep. 119
1.2 The Einstein equationsp. 120
1.3 Aside: Topology of the Universep. 122
Advanced Topic 2 Classic Cosmology: Distances and Luminositiesp. 125
2.1 Light propagation and redshiftp. 125
2.2 The observable Universep. 128
2.3 Luminosity distancep. 128
2.4 Angular diameter distancep. 132
2.5 Source countsp. 134
Advanced Topic 3 Neutrino Cosmologyp. 137
3.1 The massless casep. 137
3.2 Massive neutrinosp. 139
3.2.1 Light neutrinosp. 139
3.2.2 Heavy neutrinosp. 140
3.3 Neutrinos and structure formationp. 140
Advanced Topic 4 Baryogenesisp. 143
Advanced Topic 5 Structures in the Universep. 147
5.1 The observed structuresp. 147
5.2 Gravitational instabilityp. 149
5.3 The clustering of galaxiesp. 150
5.4 Cosmic microwave background anisotropiesp. 152
5.4.1 Statistical description of anisotropiesp. 152
5.4.2 Computing the C[subscript l]p. 154
5.4.3 Microwave background observationsp. 155
5.4.4 Spatial geometryp. 156
5.5 The origin of structurep. 157
Bibliographyp. 161
Numerical answers and hints to problemsp. 163
Indexp. 167