Precision cosmology

About the book


Cosmology seeks to characterise our Universe in terms of models based on well-understood and tested physics. Today we know our Universe with a precision that once would have been unthinkable. This book develops the entire mathematical, physical and statistical framework within which this has been achieved. It tells the story of how we arrive at our profound conclusions, starting from the early twentieth century and following developments up to the latest data analysis of big astronomical datasets. It provides an enlightening description of the mathematical, physical and statistical basis for understanding and interpreting the results of key space- and ground-based data. Subjects covered include general relativity, cosmological models, the inhomogeneous Universe, physics of the cosmic background radiation, and methods and results of data analysis. Extensive online supplementary notes, exercises, teaching materials, and exercises in Python make this the perfect companion for researchers, teachers and students in physics, mathematics, and astrophysics.

Describing the development of modern cosmology in a thorough and didactic way, this book is enlivened by engaging historical notes and extensive online supplementary material. It explores cosmology's physical and mathematical basis, and how we interpret data from supernovae, galaxy distributions and the cosmic microwave background using modern statistical methods.