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This unique volume provides a comprehensive survey of our understanding of the Universe based on the exact solutions of the theory of relativity. More precisely, it describes those models that fit with astronomical observations of galaxy clusters, cosmic voids and other key features of our Universe. This authoritative account achieves two important goals. Firstly, it collects together all independently derived cosmological solutions since the birth of relativity in 1915 to the present day, and clearly shows how they are interrelated. Secondly, it presents a coherent overview of the physical properties of these inhomogeneous models. It demonstrates, for instance, that the formation of voids and the interaction of the cosmic microwave background radiation with matter in the Universe can be explained by exact solutions of the Einstein equations, without the need for approximations. This book will be of particular interest to graduates and researchers in gravity, relativity and theoretical cosmology as well as historians of science.
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Preliminaries; 2. The Szekeres-Szafron family of solutions; 3. Physics and cosmology in an inhomogeneous universe; 4. The Stephani-Barnes family of solutions; 5. Solutions with null radiation; 6. Solutions with a 'stiff fluid'/scalar field source; 7. Other solutions; 8. Averaging out inhomogeneities of geometry and matter in cosmological models; 9. Comments; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.


'... a valuable summary for students of the subject.' Irish Astronomical Journal 'The author has produced a definitive book that should be read by anyone who intends to research the solutions of Einstein's General Relativistic field equations ...' Stuart Clark, Astronomy Now '... if you ... want to have a mathematically, historically and astrophysically competent up-to-date source for details on the dynamics of cosmological models within General Relativity Theory, I cannot give you better advice than to consult this book.' Hans-Jurgen Schmidt, General Relativity and Gravitation

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