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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Since 1980, our empirical knowledge of the universe has advanced tremendously and precision cosmology has become a reality. These developments have been largely technology-driven, the result of increased computer power, new generations of telescopes for all wavebands, new types of semiconductor detectors, such as CCDs, and major investments by many nations in superb observing facilities. The discipline also benefitted from the influx of experimental and theoretical physicists into the cosmological arena. The accuracy and reliability of the values of the cosmological parameters has improved dramatically, many of them now being known to about 1%. The ΛCDM model provides a remarkable fit to all the observational data, demonstrating that the cosmological constant is non-zero and that the global geometry of the universe is flat. The underlying physics of galaxy and large-scale structure formation has advanced dramatically and demonstrated the key roles played by dark matter and dark energy.

Keywords: precision cosmology, Hubble’s constant, acceleration of universe, density of universe, cosmological constant, light element abundances, galaxy formation, acoustic oscillations, post-recombination era, galaxy evolution.

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