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From the PublisherFrom the reviews:
What happens to the big bang singularity within string theory? Did time have a beginning? These and other pre-eminent questions, whose implications go far beyond the boundaries of physics and even of science, lie at the forefront of today's research in theoretical particle physics and cosmology. Maurizio Gasperini succeeds in this book in drawing a thorough - yet very accessible and captivating - panorama of the various answers that have so far emerged to those basic questions, and of the cosmological observations which may soon allow a stringent test of our most advanced theoretical ideas.
Gabriele Veneziano, Co-founder of String Theory
"Gasperini … describes how string theory can be used to describe a pre-big-bang era that gives birth to a big bang, resolving dilemmas of standard cosmology and predicting a testable remnant of gravitational radiation that should pervade the universe now. … Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates." (M. Dickinson, Choice, Vol. 46 (7), March, 2009)
"This book is both lucid and comprehensive. … the book’s basic material derives from the author’s university lectures and seminars, its stated aim now is to make the topic accessible to a readership with typically no more than a knowledge of high-school physics. … If you are interested in what String Theory has to offer cosmology, and are prepared to put some effort into finding out … this could be a useful text for you." (Dave Pike, The Observatory, Vol. 129 (1210), June, 2009)
"This book grew out of a series of lectures and seminars held over several years in various Italian universities. … The book is addressed, in particular, to all those readers with at least a basic knowledge of physics … but not necessarily equipped with an academic scientific background. … this book is detailed enough to enable the reader to understand the most recent cosmological models, the key underlying ideas and how they can be tested using the experimental tools provided by current technology." (Roland Carchon, Belgian Physical Society Magazine, Issue 2, June, 2009)