Preface. Dedication of the 8th Course to; A.D. Sakharov. I: The Early Universe. Phase Transitions in the Early and the Present Universe: from the Big Bang to Heavy Ion Collisions; D. Boyanovsky. Tsunami Inflation: Selfconsistent Quantum Dynamics; H.J. de Vega. String Driven Cosmology and its Predictions; N. Sanchez. Quark-Gluon Plasma in the Early Universe; J.I. Kapusta. Finite Temperature and Non-Equilibrium Phase Transitions in the Early Universe; M. Shaposhnikov. Phase Transitions During Inflation and Chemically Inhomogeneous Universe; A.D. Dolgov. Chaos in Cosmology; I.M. Khalatnikov, A.Y. Kamenshchik. II: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. The Physics of CMB Anisotropies; W. Hu. The Cosmic Microwave Background after Maxima and Boomerang; P.L. Richards. III: Large Scale Structure, Dark Matter. Large - scale Structure, Theory and Statistics; P. Coles. Measuring Global Curvature and Cosmic Acceleration with Supernovae; B.P. Schmidt. Recent Developments in the Search for Baryonic Dark Matter; B.J. Carr. IV: Fractals and Scaling Laws in Astrophysics and Cosmology. Complexity in Cosmology; F.S. Labini, L. Pietronero. Statistical Mechanics of the Self-Gravitating Gas. Thermodynamic Limit, Phase Diagrams, Local Physical Magnitudes and Fractal Structures; H.J. de Vega, N. Sanchez. Phase Transitions and Galaxy Clustering; W.C. Saslaw. The Ultimate Phase Transition; W.C. Saslaw. V: Primordial and Astrophysical Black Holes. Black Holes: Scatterers, Absorbers and Emitters of Particles; N. Sanchez. Black Hole Astrophysics; I.V. Artemova, I.D. Novikov. Black Hole Emission in String Theory and the String Phase of Black Holes; N. Sanchez. Primordial Black Holes as a Probe of the Early Universe and a Varying Gravitational Constant; B.J. Carr. Primordial Black Holes and Hot Matter; J.I. Kapusta. VI: Energy and Neutrino Astrophysics. The Curious Adventure of the Ultrahigh Energy Cosmic Rays; F.W. Stecker. Challenges of the Highest Energy Events Observed; P.L. Biermann. In What Sense is the Energy Spectrum a Universal Property of Extreme Energy Cosmic Rays; J. Linsley. Physics of Charged Cosmic Rays with the AMS Experiment; J.P. Vialle. Cosmic Magnetic Fields; P.L. Biermann. VII: The International Space Station. Space Science Utilization of the International Space Station; W.V. Jones. The Italian Role on the International Space Station; A. Lorenzoni, M.C. Falvella. Author Index.
A fundamental, profound review of the key issues relating to the early universe and the physical processes that occurred in it. The interplay between cosmic microwave background radiation, large scale structure, and the dark matter problem are stressed, with a central focus on the crucial issue of the phase transitions in the early universe and their observable consequences: baryon symmetry, baryogenesis and cosmological fluctuations.
There is an interplay between cosmology, statistical physics and particle physics in studying these problems, both at the theoretical and the experimental / observational levels. Special contributions are devoted to primordial and astrophysical black holes and to high energy cosmic rays and neutrino astrophysics. There is also a special section devoted to the International Space Station and its scientific utilization.
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