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Synopsis

Recent discoveries in astronomy, especially those made with data collected by satellites such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, have revolutionized the science of cosmology. These new observations offer the possibility that some long-standing mysteries in cosmology might be answered, including such fundamental questions as the ultimate fate of the universe.Foundations of modern cosmology provides an accessible, thorough and descriptive introduction to the physical basis for modern cosmological theory, from the big bang to a distant future dominated by dark energy. This second edition includes the latest observational results and provides the detailed background material necessary to understand their implications, with a focus on the specific model supported by these observations, the concordance model. Consistent with the book's title,emphasis is given to the scientific framework for cosmology, particularly the basics concepts of physics that underlie modern theories of relativity and cosmology; the importance of data and observations is stressed throughout. The book sketches the historical background of cosmology, and provides a review ofthe relevant basic physics and astronomy. After this introduction, both special and general relativity are treated, before proceeding to an in-depth discussion of the big bang theory and physics of the early universe. The book includes current research areas, including dark matter and structure formation, dark energy, the inflationary universe, and quantum cosmology. The authors' website (http://www.astro.virginia.edu/~jh8h/Foundations) offers a wealth of supplemental information, includingquestions and answers, references to other sources, and updates on the latest discoveries.

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