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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
Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- challenge the students to develop knowledge of fundamental physical principles governing the formation and evolution of structure in the Universe;
- understand the connection between the microscopic properties of particles and the macroscopic evolution of the Universe;
- introduce students to the problems facing contemporary research in cosmology;
- appreciate the distinction between the evolution of baryonic and non-baryonic matter;
- 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: 31 January 2024