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The Physics of the Cosmic Microwave Background

The Physics of the Cosmic Microwave Background


Part of Cambridge Astrophysics

  • Date Published: August 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521855501

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About the Authors
  • Spectacular observational breakthroughs, particularly by the WMAP satellite, have led to a new epoch of CMB science long after its original discovery. Taking a physical approach, the authors of this volume probe the problem of the 'darkness' of the Universe: the origin and evolution of dark energy and matter in the cosmos. Starting with the observational background of modern cosmology, they provide an accessible review of this fascinating yet complex subject. Topics discussed include the kinetics of the electromagnetic radiation in the Universe, the ionization history of cosmic plamas, the origin of primordial perturbations in light of the inflation paradigm, and the formation of anisotropy and polarization of the CMB. This fascinating review will be valuable to advanced students and researchers in cosmology.

    • Provides an accessible review of the physics of the CMB and the nature of dark matter and energy in the Universe
    • Includes results of experiments, including the WMAP satellite, and looks ahead to the PLANCK mission
    • Written by three leading experts of CMB with high international reputations
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'The authors of this book have played an important role in establishing this new 'standard model' of cosmology … timely and authoritative … Following a thorough and accessible introduction to the observational foundations of modern cosmology, the authors provide a comprehensive account of radiative transfer in a homogenous universe, in particular the interaction of photons with an electron plasma and the ionization history of the universe. These topics are covered in impressive depth while retaining clear physical insight. Particularly pleasing is the subsequent detailed account of the evolution of perturbations from both the Newtonian and General Relativistic viewpoints. … The last topic naturally leads on to an excellent pedagogical chapter that forms the heart of the book, namely the physics underlying the generation of primary anisotropies in the CMB. Beginning with a wry and entertaining account of the history of this topic, the chapter goes on to describe in full detail the various important physical mechanisms for generating CMB temperature fluctuations, closing with an informative account of the dependence of the CMB temperature power spectrum on cosmological parameters. … A novel geometric interpretation of polarization on the sphere … a valuable summary of the results derived from the first-year WMAP satellite date is presented, which is followed by a mouth-watering chapter looking forward to what we hope to learn from the forthcoming Planck satellite, due for launch in 2008. A brief conclusions chapter rounds off what is certain to be a very widely used book, and one that should prove to be an excellent resource for anyone interested in the exciting area of CMB science.' The Observatory

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2006
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521855501
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 180 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.69kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Observational foundations
    2. Kinetics of electromagnetic radiation
    3. The ionization history of the Universe
    4. Primordial cosmic background radiation and small perturbations of uniform cosmological model
    5. Primary anisotropy of CMB
    6. Primordial polarization of the cosmic microwave background
    7. Statistical properties of random fields
    8. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP)
    9. The 'Planktonian era' in the study of anisotropy and polarization of the CMB
    10. Conclusion

  • Authors

    Pavel D. Naselsky, Niels Bohr Institutet, Copenhagen

    Dmitry I. Novikov, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London

    Igor D. Novikov, Niels Bohr Institutet, Copenhagen

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