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This book provides an introduction to the physics, astrophysics and cosmology of the cosmic microwave background radiation. Adopting the Standard Big Bang model of the universe, the authors cover topics including the origin of the background, intrinsic fluctuations, and the universe and background radiation after recombination. Finally they present measurement of the radiation and its anisotropies, along with a review of the current status of results and experiments. The authors assume the reader has a basic understanding of the central concepts of general relativity, but they avoid complex mathematical proofs and manipulations, preferring instead to concentrate on the information needed by hands-on cosmologists and astrophysicists. In this first edition in the English language, the authors have completely revised the text of the French edition. The level is ideally suited to final-year undergraduates in physics or astronomy.