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Principles of Physical Cosmology (Princeton Series in Physics) [Paperback]

Phillip James Edwin Peebles
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

9 May 1993 Princeton Series in Physics

During the last twenty years, dramatic improvements in methods of observing astrophysical phenomena from the ground and in space have added to our knowledge of what the universe is like now and what it was like in the past, going back to the hot big bang. In this overview of today's physical cosmology, P.J.E. Peebles shows how observation has combined with theoretical elements to establish the subject as a mature science, while he also discusses the most notable recent attempts to understand the origin and structure of the universe. A successor to Peebles's classic volume Physical Cosmology (Princeton, 1971), the book is a comprehensive overview addressed not only to students but also to scientists active in fields outside cosmology.

The first chapter of the work presents the elements of physical cosmology, including the history of the discovery of the expanding universe. The second, on the cosmological tests that measure the geometry of spacetime, discusses general relativity theory as the basis for the tests, and then surveys the broad variety of ways the tests can be applied with the new generations of telescopes and detectors. The third chapter deals with the origin of galaxies and the large-scale structure of the universe, and reviews ideas about how the evolution of the universe might be traced back to very early epochs when structure originated. Each section of these chapters begins with an introduction that can be understood with no special knowledge beyond undergraduate physics, and then progresses to more specialized topics.

P.J.E. Peebles is Albert Einstein Professor of Science at Princeton University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society.

Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (9 May 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691019339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691019338
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 15.3 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 771,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Nothing is more badly needed than a solid but accessible book on cosmology, written by an insider who has not lost his or her skepticism, Peeble's new book fills the bill admirably."--Nature

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Physical cosmology is the attempt to make sense of the large-scale nature of the material world around us, by the methods of the natural sciences. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This book is an easy to reference text which deals with advanced topics in cosmology. The book is quite self-sufficient and only assumes a basic knowledge of mathematics and physics. Its sections on Tensor Algebra, and Tensor Analysis are well written and pave the way for a clear understanding of much more complicated sections of the book, such as cosmological dynamics. Indeed the book is comprehensive, covering everything from the Microwave background, galaxay formation and elemental abundances, to more specualtive subjects such as Hot and Cold Dark Matter and modern problems. A great application of Einstein's amazing theory of general relativity
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough review 16 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In the field of Cosmology, this may seem a dated book (it was published in 1993), but it is a very thorough and clear review of Cosmology which proves extremely valuable even after twenty years, since the physical principles and the methods have not changed. Although of course the emphasis is on the standard model, it also presents the possible alternatives and it clearly points out the inconsistecies between theory and observational data.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astrophysical Overview 31 July 2009
By Michael Gooch - Published on
I read this wide-ranging book when it was first published in '93 and have referred to it often as one of `go to books'. While one of my main pleasures is reading the popularized science writings of Davies, Hawkings, Frank, etc., from time to time, I like to see the equations that go into the foundations of the various themes. With this book by Peebles, I get a good dose of it. Not too much mind you. Just the right amount.

Certainly as a 1993 model, some of the latest discoveries in physics and cosmology are not included. This is no big deal as the basic foundations are well intact and the majority of us (I'll betcha) can always stand a refresher course in the fundamentals without having to get bogged down with too much of the wiz-bang new discoveries. Besides, to truly grasp the new, we must be fully conditioned by the old.

Final opinion: If you are math adverse, avoid this book.

Final, final opinion: If not, buy it.

I hope you find this review helpful.

Michael L. Gooch, SPHR
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book that has unfortunately aged 8 May 2008
By HC Mitchell - Published on
I've had this book for years and have read through it several times. It is an excellent introduction to the wider physical context of cosmology, and a thorough review of many essentials. Unfortunately, a lot has happened since 1993! The discovery of cosmic acceleration especially makes some of the analysis here dated. HOWEVER: Peeble's exposition of things like inflation and structure formation are just as good now as they ever were.
Like his textbook on quantum mechanics, this can be a difficult book to learn from. He expects a great deal of knowledge from his readers. On the other hand, he is an absolute master at explaining why cosmologists do what they do. A very worthwhile book that every physicist should read.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 16 Sep 2013
By Heff - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good textbook for people who want to study cosmology. But there are actually too many content in the book and too many words per page.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I bought this book 12 July 2014
By Jobltz - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm glad I bought this book. Not because I agree with its contents, but because I can see firsthand what the science thought police have accomplished. This was written as a college text-book - that is, for uneducated teen-agers who think they are getting "science," when what they really are getting is propaganda, biased philosophy, etc., etc. One professor admitted::
And I use that trust to effectively brainwash them. . . .our teaching methods are primarily those of propaganda. We appeal - without demonstration - to evidence that supports our position. We only introduce arguments and evidence that supports the currently accepted theories (i.e., evolution), and gloss over any evidence to the contrary.*
25 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A big disapointment! 28 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Although the book overviews many topics in cosmology, it seems an excersise in personal interests of the writer. The results are often not directly applicable to "real-life" situations and rewritting of formulae is usually required. Personally, I would recommend the book "Cosmological Physics" by Peacock, which is much more transparent and up-to-date.
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