Physics and cosmology can be daunting subjects, often accompanied by massive textbooks. However, The Little Book of Cosmology breaks that mold. This slim monograph, with just over 100 pages, offers a broad yet accessible overview of the universe’s origin and nature, as well as the mysteries that still elude us.
Written by Lyman Page, a renowned experimental cosmologist, this book presents a simplified exploration of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Lyman Page, who played a key role in NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), provides valuable insights into the CMB – the thermal afterglow of the Big Bang.
Through the power spectrum chart, Page unveils the composition of the universe, showcasing the contributions from matter, dark matter, and the cosmological constant. This chart, described as “one of the most important plots in cosmology,” reveals vital information about the universe’s structure and formation.
Page’s writing style caters to readers with basic physics knowledge, avoiding complex equations while still conveying a wealth of information. Although the book moves quickly, occasional revisits to certain passages may be necessary to fully grasp concepts such as the connection between the power spectrum and the polarization of the CMB.
Overall, The Little Book of Cosmology offers a high-level overview of our current understanding of the cosmos. Its compact size makes it easily transportable, ensuring that this captivating read won’t weigh down your bookshelf or spacetime itself.