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Cosmology Short Course for College Teachers
Bringing the frontiers of research into the undergraduate classroom
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The New Cosmology:
From Quantum Fuzz to the Accelerating Universe

Chautauqua Short Course for College Teachers
October 26-28, 2001


A number of participants have asked about suggested reading. We polled the instructors and assembled the following list. We have included some highly technical reading for those that are interested, but primarily we recommend the less technical sources.

Suggested Course Reading

  • Weinberg, Steven. "The First Three Minutes; A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe 2nd ed.", New York : Basic Books, July 1993. ISBN# 0465024378
    The first popular cosmology book, written 27 years ago by a Nobel Prize winning particle physicist. A very readable account of the basic Big Bang model.
  • Guth, Alan H. "The Inflationary Universe; The Quest for a New Theory of", Addison Wesley Longman, Incorporated, Jan. 1997. ISBN# 0201149427.
    Inflation is the most important idea that has migrated into cosmology from particle physics. Guth invented inflation and here spends quite a bit of time explaining it clearly. Personal anecdotes make it very readable.
  • Hogan, C. "The Little Book of the Big Bang", New York: Springer-Verlag New York, Incorporated, 1998. ISBN# 0387983856.
    A nice overview of modern cosmology.
Other Reading
  • Hubble, Edwin. "The Realm of the Nebulae", New Haven: Yale University Press, Dec. 1982. ISBN# 0300024991.
    The notion would not necessarily be to read the whole book, but just to browse through it for background. The course is, in fact, retracing Hubble's footsteps.
  • Overbye, Dennis. "Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos; The Story of the Scientific Quest for the Secret of the Universe", New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Incorporated, Jan. 1992. ISBN# 0060922710 (out of print).
  • Riordan, Michael and David Schramm. "Shadow of Creation; Dark Matters and the Structure of the Universe", New York: W. H. Freeman and Company, Oct. 1995. ISBN# 0716723662.
  • Rees, Martin J. "Before the Beginning; Our Universe and Others", Perseus Books, Oct. 1998. ISBN# 0738200336.
  • Goldsmith, Donald. "Einstein's Greatest Blunder?; The Cosmological Constant and Other Fudge Factors in the Physics of the Universe", Cambridge: Harvard University Press, Sept. 1995. ISBN# 0674242416.
    This book describes the history of the idea of the cosmological constant, a parameter first introduced by Einstein to "fix" his theory. It has re-emerged time and again over the last 80 years and is now at the peak of its popularity.
  • Greene, Brian. "The Elegant Universe; Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory", New York: W. W. Norton and Company, Incorporated 1999. ISBN# 0393046885.
    This recent bestseller is about string theory, which if it eventually emerges as the true theory of everything will have to explain cosmology as well. Greene includes here several chapters on cosmology and possible connections between string theory and cosmology.
  • "Brave New Cosmos", Scientific American, January 2001.
Hardcore Technical Reading
  • Bernstein, Jeremy. "Introduction to Cosmology", Paramus: Prentice Hall, Sept. 1997. ISBN# 0139055487.
    Undergraduate level textbook by an award winning popular writer. Bernstein emphasizes the connection between particle physics and cosmology.
  • Kolb, Edward W. and Michael Turner. "The Early Universe", Reading: Addison Wesley Longman, Incorporated, Jan. 1993. ISBN# 0201626748.
    The standard graduate textbook on cosmology.
  • Peacock, John A. "Cosmological Physics", Cambridge Univ Press, 1998. ISBN# 0521422701.
  • Peebles, P. J. "The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe", Princeton: Princeton University Press, Sept. 1980. ISBN# 0691082391 (out of print).
    A deceptively brilliant book from the foremost researcher in the field. Everything about large scale structure is in here.