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Principles of Physical Cosmology$
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P. J. E. Peebles

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691209814

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691209814.001.0001

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General Relativity and Cosmology

General Relativity and Cosmology

(p.227) II. General Relativity and Cosmology
Principles of Physical Cosmology

P. J. E. Peebles


This chapter discusses the development of physical sciences in seemingly chaotic ways, by paths that are at best dimly seen at the time. It refers to the history of ideas as an important part of any science, and particularly worth examining in cosmology, where the subject has evolved over several generations. It also examines the puzzle of inertia, which traces the connection to Albert Einstein's bold idea that the universe is homogeneous in the large-scale average called “cosmological principle.” The chapter cites Newtonian mechanics that defines a set of preferred motions in space, the inertial reference frames, by the condition that a freely moving body has a constant velocity. It talks about Ernst Mach, who argued that inertial frames are determined relative to the motion of the rest of the matter in the universe.

Keywords:   physical sciences, cosmology, inertia, cosmological principle, Newtonian mechanics

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