03401 - Cosmology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will have the basic knowledge of the modern cosmology, based on the General Relativity and on the Hot Big Bang model. In particular the student knows in critical way: the assumptions underlying the Big Bang model and their consequences; the thermal history of universe and the corresponding epochs; the model of inflation; the theory of formation of cosmic structures. Finally the student will be able to present and discuss in critical way the constraints coming from observational data.  

Course contents

First part for both the 6CFU and 8CFU courses: First principles of cosmological models. The Friedmann models. Thermal history of the Hot Big Bang model. The very early universe. Phase transitions and Inflation. The lepton era. The plasma era. Jeans theory in expanding universes. Gravitational instability for baryonic and non-baryonic matter. Theory of perturbations. Dark Matter.

Second part only for the 8CFU course: Cosmology with galaxy clusters. Clustering. Cosmic background radiation. Cosmic velocity fields. 


Fundamental books:

P. Coles, F. Lucchin: Cosmology - The origin and evolution of Cosmic Structue, Wiley [Chapters 1-2, 4-15, 16-18 (only for the 8CFU course)];  

V. Mukhanov: Physical Foundations of Cosmology, Cambridge (Chapter 5);

Lecture slides and notes.


Other useful readings:

E.W. Kolb, M.S. Turner: The early universe, Addison-Weslwy

P.J.E. Peebles: Principles of physical cosmology, Princeton University

J.A. Peacock: Cosmological Physics, Cambridge University Press

T. Padmanabhan: Structure formation in the universe, Cambridge University Press

B. Ryden: Introduction to Cosmology, Cambridge University Press

Teaching methods

Lectures including discussions of related problems.

Assessment methods

Oral exam. The aim of the interview is to verify that the student has the basic knowledge of modern cosmology and that he/she can discuss in a critical way the properties of the various cosmological models and their comparison with present observational data. 

The exam starts from a topic chosen by the student, this will be followed by some more detailed discussion on the same topic and  questions on other topics covered in the course.

Teaching tools

Blackboard. Video projectors.

Office hours

See the website of Lauro Moscardini