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Cosmology's CenturyAn Inside History of Our Modern Understanding of the Universe$
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P. J. E. Peebles

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196022

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196022.001.0001

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The Age of Abundance of Cosmological Models

The Age of Abundance of Cosmological Models

(p.300) Chapter Eight The Age of Abundance of Cosmological Models
Cosmology's Century

P. J. E. Peebles

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines why in the early 1980s cosmologists co-opted the astronomers' subluminal mass and the particle physicists' nonbaryonic matter in what became known as the standard cold dark matter, or sCDM, cosmological model. The letter “s” might be taken to mean that the model was designed to be simple (as it was) but it instead signified “standard,” not because it was established but because it came first. A large part of the cosmology community soon adopted variants of the sCDM model as bases for exploration of how galaxies might have formed in the observed patterns of their space distribution and motions, and for analyses of the effect of galaxy formation on the angular distribution of the sea of thermal radiation. This widespread adoption was arguably overenthusiastic, because it was easy to devise other models, less simple to be sure, that fit what we knew at the time. And it was complicated by the nonempirical feeling that space sections surely are flat.

Keywords:   cosmologists, subliminal mass, nonbaryonic matter, standard cold dark matter, cosmological models, galaxies, galaxy formation, thermal radiation, space sections

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