Cosmology.

*(English)*Zbl 1147.83002
Oxford: Oxford University Press (ISBN 978-0-19-852682-7/hbk). xvii, 593 p. (2008).

Few months after its appearance, at least five enthusiastic book reviews appeared for this new book by Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, which has the power to become a classic textbook about cosmology.

If an author writes another book with a quite similar title as the previous one, then usually, there is much overlap between them. This is, however, not the case with the present book, entitled “Cosmology”, by Steven Weinberg: His previous book, “Gravitation and Cosmology”, was published in 1972, and now, 36 years later, he wrote a complete new book on Cosmology.

References are given, in an unusual way, as footnotes to the pages where they are mentioned; fortunately, the author index is carefully managed, so one can find the cited literature also this way. A next unusual feature of this book is the publication of an online available list of corrections, see http://zippy.ph.utexas.edu/~weinberg/corrections.html which today (September 3, 2008) contains already 21 items like “In footnote 2 on p. 1, ‘300 light years’ should be ‘300 million light years’. (Thanks to F. Maienschein for this correction.)”

The book is divided into 10 chapters, starting with Chapter 1: The expansion of the universe, Chapter 2: The cosmic microwave background, via inflation, …, Chapter 5: General theory of small fluctuations, Chapter 6: Evolution of cosmological fluctuations, growth of structure, then to Chapter 9: Gravitational lenses, which contains also a section about cosmic strings. It mentions a new interpretation of an earlier observation: in 2003, there was found a plausible candidate for lensing by a cosmic string; however, this interpretation had to be abandoned in 2006, so now one has no more any candidate for the existence of a cosmic string.

Every topic is clearly developed on the ground of general relativity theory. The appendices list several useful mathematical background and astrophysical data: Review of General Relativity, Ergodic theorem, Newtonian cosmology, and the relativistic Boltzmann equation. A list of problems, and author and subject index close this really important book.

If an author writes another book with a quite similar title as the previous one, then usually, there is much overlap between them. This is, however, not the case with the present book, entitled “Cosmology”, by Steven Weinberg: His previous book, “Gravitation and Cosmology”, was published in 1972, and now, 36 years later, he wrote a complete new book on Cosmology.

References are given, in an unusual way, as footnotes to the pages where they are mentioned; fortunately, the author index is carefully managed, so one can find the cited literature also this way. A next unusual feature of this book is the publication of an online available list of corrections, see http://zippy.ph.utexas.edu/~weinberg/corrections.html which today (September 3, 2008) contains already 21 items like “In footnote 2 on p. 1, ‘300 light years’ should be ‘300 million light years’. (Thanks to F. Maienschein for this correction.)”

The book is divided into 10 chapters, starting with Chapter 1: The expansion of the universe, Chapter 2: The cosmic microwave background, via inflation, …, Chapter 5: General theory of small fluctuations, Chapter 6: Evolution of cosmological fluctuations, growth of structure, then to Chapter 9: Gravitational lenses, which contains also a section about cosmic strings. It mentions a new interpretation of an earlier observation: in 2003, there was found a plausible candidate for lensing by a cosmic string; however, this interpretation had to be abandoned in 2006, so now one has no more any candidate for the existence of a cosmic string.

Every topic is clearly developed on the ground of general relativity theory. The appendices list several useful mathematical background and astrophysical data: Review of General Relativity, Ergodic theorem, Newtonian cosmology, and the relativistic Boltzmann equation. A list of problems, and author and subject index close this really important book.

Reviewer: Hans-Jürgen Schmidt (Potsdam)

##### MSC:

83-01 | Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to relativity and gravitational theory |

85-01 | Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to astronomy and astrophysics |

83F05 | Cosmology |

85A40 | Cosmology |

83C10 | Equations of motion in general relativity and gravitational theory |

85A05 | Galactic and stellar dynamics |

85A25 | Radiative transfer in astronomy and astrophysics |

83C55 | Macroscopic interaction of the gravitational field with matter (hydrodynamics, etc.) |

83C25 | Approximation procedures, weak fields in general relativity and gravitational theory |

85A35 | Statistical astronomy |

76P05 | Rarefied gas flows, Boltzmann equation in fluid mechanics |