This chapter provides a few examples of representations of the universe on a large scale—a first step in constructing a cosmological model. It first discusses the Copernican principle, which is an approximation/hypothesis about the matter distribution in the observable universe. The chapter then turns to the cosmological principle—a hypothesis about the geometry of the Riemannian spacetime representing the universe, which is assumed to be foliated by 3-spaces labeled by a cosmic time t which are homogeneous and isotropic, that is, ‘maximally symmetric’. After a discussion on maximally symmetric space, this chapter considers spacetimes with homogenous and isotropic sections. Finally, this chapter discusses Milne and de Sitter spacetimes.
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