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The Little Book of Cosmology

- Lyman Page Princeton University Press £16.99  HB

The Little Book of Cosmology is certainly little; it could very well get lost in your bag. In around 100 pages it explores the compositio­n, geometry and evolution of the Universe, as well as the frontiers of cosmology. Isn’t it marvellous to think that “we can understand the Universe at its grandest scales to per cent-level accuracy through measuremen­t”.

The Little Book does contain everything that you would expect to find given the title, and for that it is to be commended, however some may feel there is something lacking.

The writer does warn the reader early on that he is expecting some knowledge and interest in cosmology, but the pace of the book flips quickly between beginner and intermedia­te levels, and in places it can be confusing to grasp what the text is referring to. On a positive note, there are some nice analogies and the book certainly won’t take you long to get through.

But what is missing most from this book is inspiratio­n. Every reader wants to come away from a popular science book with some sense of awe, and a hunger to delve deeper. After all, the evolution of the Universe and how we’ve figured it all out is extremely exciting. But this was not the case here; perhaps it’s harder to achieve in so few pages. However it’s certainly a nice little book for those who have some knowledge of the subject. ★★★★★ Laura Nuttall is a senior lecturer in gravitatio­nal waves at the University of Portsmouth

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