Cosmology has undergone a revolution in recent years. The exciting interplay between astronomy and fundamental physics has led to dramatic revelations, including the existence of the dark matter and the dark energy that appear to dominate our cosmos. But these discoveries only reveal themselves through small effects in noisy experimental data. Dealing with such observations requires the careful application of probability and statistics. But it is not only in the arcane world of fundamental physics that probability theory plays such an important role. It has an impact in many aspects of our everyday life, from the law courts to the lottery. Why then do so few people understand probability? And why do so few people understand why it is so important for science? Why do so many people think that science is about absolute certainty when, at its core, it is actually dominated by uncertainty? This book attempts to explain the basics of probability theory, and illustrate their application across the entire spectrum of science.
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(223mm x 145mm x 16mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Author Biography - Peter Coles
I was an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, where I did Natural Sciences specialising in Theoretical Physics. I moved to Sussex in 1985 and did a DPhil in Theoretical Astronomy under the supervision of Professor John D. Barrow, the famous writer. I stayed on at Sussex for two years as a PDRA, then moved to Queen Mary & Westfield College (University of London) in 1990 to take up a temporary lectureship. I was awarded a PPARC Advanced Fellowship in 1993, which I held there until 1998. Meanwhile I was appointed Lecturer-in-Waiting in 1994 and then promoted to Reader-in-Waiting in 1997. On January 1st 1999 I became the first Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Nottingham.