The standard theory of cosmic structure formation posits that the present-day rich structure of the universe developed through gravitational amplification of tiny matter density fluctuations left over from the Big Bang. Recent observations of the cosmic microwave background, large-scale structure, and distant supernovae determined the energy content of the universe and the basic statistics of the initial density field with great accuracy. It has become possible to make accurate predictions for the formation and nonlinear growth of structure through early to the present epochs. We review recent progress in the theory of structure formation in the early universe. Results from state-of-the-art computer simulations are presented. Finally, we discuss prospects for future observations of the first generation of stars, black holes, and galaxies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)