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This subject provides an advanced introduction to physical cosmology. Specific topics may include the isotropic homogeneous Universe, the Robertson Walker metric, the Friedmann equations, baryogenesis, inflation, big-bang nucleosynthesis, the recombination era, density fluctuations as the origin of galaxies, the cosmic microwave background, linear and non-linear growth of structure, the Press-Schechter mass function, reionization of the IGM and gravitational lensing. Examples are drawn from past and current cosmological observations.
Intended learning outcomes
The objectives of this subject are:
- to challenge the students to develop knowledge of fundamental physical principles governing the formation and evolution of structure in the Universe;
- to understand the connection between the microscopic properties of particles and the macroscopic evolution of the Universe;
- to introduce students to the problems facing contemporary research in cosmology;
- to appreciate the distinction between the evolution of baryonic and non-baryonic matter;
- to develop the skills required to interpret cosmological data.
At the completion of this subject, students should have gained skills in:
- analysing how to solve a problem by applying simple fundamental laws to more complicated situations;
- applying abstract concepts to real-world situations;
- solving relatively complicated problems using approximations;
- participating as an effective member of a group in discussions and collaborative assignments;
- managing time effectively in order to be prepared for group discussions and undertake the assignments and exam.
Last updated: 2 December 2019