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The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe$
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P. J. E. Peebles

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691209838

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691209838.001.0001

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Behavior of Irregularities in the Distribution of Matter: Newtonian Approximation

Behavior of Irregularities in the Distribution of Matter: Newtonian Approximation

Chapter:
(p.37) II. Behavior of Irregularities in the Distribution of Matter: Newtonian Approximation
Source:
The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe
Author(s):

P. J. E. Peebles

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691209838.003.0002

This chapter examines the behavior of a given mass distribution in the Newtonian approximation. Discussion of how irregularities in the matter distribution behave in an expanding universe is greatly simplified by the fact that a limiting approximation of general relativity, Newtonian mechanics, applies in a region small compared to the Hubble length. The rest of the universe can affect the region only through a tidal field. Though the point was clearly made by Georges Lemaître, it has not always been recognized that the Newtonian approximation is not a model but a limiting case valid no matter what is happening in the distant parts of the universe. Because of the importance of this result, the chapter discusses it at some length.

Keywords:   mass distribution, Newtonian approximation, matter distribution, expanding universe, general relativity, Newtonian mechanics, universe, tidal field

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