PHY554/AST554 -- Cosmology

Fall 2015

This course will provide an introduction to Cosmology aimed primarily at Graduate Students

Class Hours: Tues and Thurs 12:30- 1:45 Bausch and Lomb 315

Prof:     Eric Blackman, Bausch & Lomb 417,



The required course textbook is: "Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology" by Peter Schneider (second edition)

     Other books of interest:

"Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity" (James Hartle)

"A First Course in General Relativity" (Bernard Schutz)

"Spacetime and Geometry" (Sean Carroll)

"Physical Foundations of Cosmology" (Viatcheslave Mukhanov)

"Introduction to Cosmology" (Barbara Ryden)

"Modern Cosmology" (Scott Dodelson)

"Cosmology" (Steven Weinberg)


The order of topics to be covered are the path throgh chapters 4, 7, and 8 of the book. I will however, supplement with more material along this path in places where I think theoretical background is desirable.

****Part I: Isotropic, Homogeneous, Time Dependent Cosmological Models****

1. Introduction and Basic Observations

2. Dynamics and Implications of Expanding Universe (Newtonian Model)

3: Role of General Relativity and Curvature/ Gravity as Geometry

4. Friedmann Equations for Cosmology and Implications (big bang, redshift, age)

5. Distances in Cosmology

6. Thermal History of Universe and Nucleosyntheis

7. Inflation

****Part II: Inhomogeneities and Structure Formation****

8. Gravitational Instability

9. Modeling density fluctuations and their linear time evolution, baryon acoustic oscillations

10. Nonlinear evolution of density fluctuations

11. Dark Matter Halos

12. Weak Gravtiational Lensing as Probe of Dark Matter

****Part III: Cosmological Parameters and Cosmology as a Precision Science****

13. Redshift Surveys

14. Inferring Cosmological Parmeters from Galaxy Clusters

15. High Redshift Supernova and Cosmological Constant

16. Cosmic Shear

17. Lymnan Alpha Forrest and Cosmology

18. Angular Fluctuations of the Cosmic Microwave Background

19. Cosmological Parmeters from CMB


(Grading will be PASS/FAIL)

(1) Homework sets (not graded). There are book problems in the text which also have answers in the back.

(2) Take Home Final Exam Date to be determined

(3) Presentation on topic to be chosen in consultation with me. I want the topic to be useful and interseting to you and we can discuss topics that might complement your own research.