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Cosmology for the Curious

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  9 reviews
This book is an introductory text for all those wishing to learn about modern views of the cosmos. Our universe originated in a great explosion - the big bang. For nearly a century cosmologists have studied the aftermath of this explosion: how the universe expanded and cooled down, and how galaxies were gradually assembled by gravity. The nature of the bang itself has come ...more
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published July 1st 2017 by Springer
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Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
I think this book could be handled fairly well by an AP physics student or physics major in their freshman or sophomore year in college. It requires maybe calculus level ability at math at most. It explains in broad outline the current cosmological picture at an intermediate level. Good stuff. If you read this you will have a general idea of what is going on in debates of cosmology. It is cosmology for people with some stem experience. I know you are out there. Good stuff.
Brian Clegg
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the recently published The Little Book of Black Holes we saw what I thought was pretty much impossible - a good next level general audience science title, spanning the gap between a typical popular science book and an introductory textbook, but very much in the style of popular science. Cosmology for the Curious does something similar, but coming from the other direction. This is an introductory textbook, intended for first year physics students, with familiar textbook features like questions ...more
James F
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
The authors are professors at Tufts; the book is based on a "Cosmology for Poets"-type course taught by Vilenkin (who first developed the idea of "eternal inflation" and the multiverse). It is actually a textbook, with excercises (no answers given) and deals with the subject quantitatively -- there are equations on almost every page; but the math is all simple, high school algebra with no vectors, trig or calculus (except for the Appendix, which deals in more mathematical depth with the Friedman ...more
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to get through Cosmology for the Curious. The cover blurb describes it as "a non-technical but conceptually rigorous account of modern cosmological ideas." It's suitable for use as a college-level textbook for non-science majors. "Non-technical" in this case means without math beyond high school algebra, though there is some of that. Happily, I do have a reasonably good grasp of algebra, enough to be able to read and understand the meaning of equations and how they can be tran ...more
Dan Graser
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This perfectly titled work on the current theories and research in the area of cosmology is a pleasure to read and skim depending on your area of interest. This was designed for an undergraduate course taught by Alex Vilenkin, (of BGV Theorem fame) and would be most appropriate for those with at least a high school level knowledge of math and physics.

While the first 5 chapters review a lot of material that is similarly reviewed in works for the layperson in this subject area, the remainder of th
Popsci cosmology books I used to read 10-15 years ago would start at how the universe was viewed by the ancients, and stop at the discovery of dark energy and an accelerating expansion of the universe. This book goes way beyond that.

I was very pleased to see that the 2nd half went on to discuss some of the most fascinating things we've come upon beyond the big bang: inflationary cosmology, a slightly more technical discussion of string theory and the multiverse, the anthropic principle, the prin
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
if you have read hawking's the theory of everything and the grand design, then i can say this book is the combination of both. in addition, this books contains mathematical equations simple enough for any high school graduate (or even younger readers) to understand.

in the first part, the authors are bringing us into understanding of the cosmos from the big bang until today. what makes galaxy, what causes life on earth, and so forth,

then in the second part, we are brought beyond the big bang. it'
Dara  Ghaznavi
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome. It is neither too simplified (as many pop science books), nor too complicated (as many technical textbooks). The authors have tried to give a general understanding of cosmology to people with minimum knowledge of physics and mathematics. You can get the whole idea by reading it once but to master the book, one has to go over technical parts a few times as with textbooks. The final chapters of the book are devoted to ideas about the inflation hypothesis and eternal inflation ...more
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Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book! Covers all the latest ideas about the universe, including it origins, the expansion, the future, dark matter, dark energy, multiverse ideas. All very clearly explained and with some easy maths that helps the reader to really understand the ideas, rather than just knowing the facts.
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