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Precision Cosmology
The First Half Million Years


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  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521554336

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • The first book to give a full review and discussion of microwave background radiation including the latest Planck mission data
    • Provides a comprehensive background to the field of cosmology which is enlivened by the inclusion of various anecdotes
    • Includes a thorough grounding in how to extract information from large quantities of data in the most mathematically informative way that will be of use to all researchers who use statistics to analyse data
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    • Winner, 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Jones has been contributing to cosmology since the 1970s, when it was a small data-starved science. In Precision Cosmology he traces the development to the many lines of theory and observation that now fit together so well in the established cosmology. The book progresses from conceptual to increasingly formal, making it accessible to a broad range of readers. They will find a steady supply of references on how to work out all the details, citations to literature that go beyond the standard ones, to interesting and sometimes surprising connections that better inform understanding of how cosmology grew. This is a useful book for teaching and reference.' James Peebles, Princeton University, New Jersey

    'This book gives a fascinating account of how observations in the last hundred years have changed the perception of our Universe. It leads the reader from a historic account of the most dramatic discoveries of the recent past to a description and interpretation of the latest experiments. This book describes the detailed knowledge of our Universe that is supported by numerous experiments including the recent discovery of gravitational waves and, most importantly, will be tested by many more in the nearby future. It is a welcome beacon that both researchers and students can use in the fast changing field of precision cosmology. A particularly attractive pedagogical feature is that most of the cosmology is first introduced in a Newtonian context thereby avoiding as much as possible the complexities of General Relativity. Many exercises and online supplements further assist the reader. I full-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the Universe we live in.' Eric Bergshoeff, Willem de Sitter Chair in Theoretical Physics, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands

    'This is an extremely impressive book that manages to synthesise the theoretical background underpinning modern cosmology with the latest statistical analysis of available data into an invaluable resource for graduate students and experienced researchers alike. It is refreshing to see such a thorough exposition of this huge and complex topic starting from basic concepts through to the forefront of modern research. I also very much appreciated the attention paid to the historical development of the subject that puts more recent advances in their proper context, with copious references to important foundational papers. This book is an immense achievement, for which the cosmological community owes Bernard Jones a substantial debt of gratitude. I'm sure it will be essential reading for current and future cosmologists for many years to come.' Peter Coles, Cardiff University

    'The eminent astronomer Jones has successfully produced a book that enables physics students to advance their knowledge to the point where they can read and understand research papers in cosmology… readers will learn the fundamentals of Newtonian cosmology, relativistic cosmology, and the subfields of dark energy, the early universe, inflation theory, and the supporting data. The book also contains a long section on the mathematical tools required to analyze the observational data supporting current understanding of the universe … This section alone justifies having the book on a library shelf. An adjacent section on the data processing used to extract the maps of the cosmic microwave background for the raw radiometric satellite data is extraordinary and will be valued by readers wishing to understand this important area of research. The references are thorough and excellently organized. This is strongly recommended for universities with active astrophysics and astronomy departments.' A. Spero, Choice

    'Readers requiring a first cosmology reference book and lecturers teaching cosmology for the first time will find this a can-go-no-wrong text to invest in.' B. Ishak, Contemporary Physics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521554336
    • length: 774 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 193 x 39 mm
    • weight: 1.82kg
    • contains: 121 b/w illus. 12 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Notation and conventions
    Part I. 100 Years of Cosmology:
    1. Emerging cosmology
    2. The cosmic expansion
    3. The cosmic microwave background
    4. Recent cosmology
    Part II. Newtonian Cosmology:
    5. Newtonian cosmology
    6. Dark energy cosmological models
    7. The early universe
    8. The inhomogeneous universe
    9. The inflationary universe
    Part III. Relativistic Cosmology:
    10. Minkowski space
    11. The energy momentum tensor
    12. General relativity
    13. Space-time geometry and calculus
    14. The Einstein field equations
    15. Solutions of the Einstein equations
    16. The Robertson–Walker solution
    17. Congruences, curvature and Raychaudhuri
    18. Observing and measuring the universe
    Part IV. The Physics of Matter and Radiation:
    19. Physics of the CMB radiation
    20. Recombination of the primeval plasma
    21. CMB polarisation
    22. CMB anisotropy
    Part V. Precision Tools for Precision Cosmology:
    23. Likelihood
    24. Frequentist hypothesis testing
    25. Statistical inference: Bayesian
    26. CMB data processing
    27. Parametrising the universe
    28. Precision cosmology
    29. Epilogue
    Appendix A. SI, CGS and Planck units
    Appendix B. Magnitudes and distances
    Appendix C. Representing vectors and tensors
    Appendix D. The electromagnetic field
    Appendix E. Statistical distributions
    Appendix F. Functions on a sphere
    Appendix G. Acknowledgements

  • Author

    Bernard J. T. Jones, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands
    Bernard J. T. Jones is Emeritus Professor in Astronomy at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


    • Winner, 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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