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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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(p.379) VI. Scenarios
The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe

P. J. E. Peebles

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes some of the attempts to trace the links between theory and observation, showing how the character of the matter distribution we observe developed out of reasonable conditions in the early universe. Opinions on what the universe might have been like at high redshift span the range from primeval chaos to a distribution well ordered in the large but more or less chaotic or turbulent on small scales, to a universe quite precisely homogeneous and isotropic. It is not surprising that the arguments that have been advanced in favor of each scenario all make good points that to some seem compelling. The principle that has been adopted in this book and that argues against all variants of the primeval chaos scenario is that gravity tries to enhance density irregularities, not disperse them: as long as gravity is the dominant force it is hard to see how the universe could do other than grow more irregular. The chapter then considers the nature of protogalaxies and protoclusters.

Keywords:   matter distribution, early universe, high redshift, primeval chaos, gravity, density irregularities, protogalaxies, protoclusters

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