Cosmology, the study of the evolution and the structure of the Universe, has a long history in various areas, such as philosophy and of course science.

I recently found this paper by Jorge L. Cervantes-Cota and George Smoot on arXiv, and thought some of you might be interested. It gives a short review on the standard model of cosmology.

From the Big Bang to inflation, it quickly reviews cosmic distances and their measurements within the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker metric, as well as thermodynamics and inhomogeneities in the early universe. Anyone interested in reading this paper should have a sufficient background in physics, as a few inevitable equations are presented.

Obviously, this is just a very short review and it only deals with the standard model of cosmology:  you will not find anything about modified gravity theories or any other alternative theories.

For more details about modern cosmology, I will also recommend this set of lectures by Leonard Susskind that I posted some time ago. Of course, keep browsing the blog as well (there are a few articles about black holes, the shape of the Universe, its fate…)! I will leave the final word to Galileo, who once said:

“Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.”