The past twenty years have seen a number of breakthroughs in astrophysics and cosmology, some of which have been awarded Nobel prizes. These physics triumphs highlight the fact that while students need a solid grounding in the fundamentals of astrophysics and cosmology, sight of the basics of the fundamental interactions in physics must not be lost.
This book presents papers based on lectures given at the 200th Course of the International School of Physics “Enrico Fermi”, on Gravitation and Cosmology, held in Varenna, Italy, from 3 - 12 July 2017. The aim of the school was to expose students to state-of-the-art research in the field of gravitational waves and cosmology, from both a theoretical and experimental point of view. Lectures were organized in such a way as to foster interaction between the two communities, and a wide range of topics was addressed. In the gravitational waves section, topics covered include experimental issues connected with gravitational wave detection and the new field of multi-messenger astronomy, as well as more astrophysical aspects. In the section on cosmology, there are contributions on the early universe, on the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and on redshift surveys. Other areas covered include a review of inflationary scenarios; the non-Gaussian features of primordial density fluctuations; and the physical mechanisms responsible for the spectral distortions of the blackbody spectrum of the CMB.
The book provides an overview of important research developments and will be of interest to all students of gravitation and cosmology.