BSc-level knowledge of mathematics and physics, including classical and quantum mechanics, special relativity, statistical physics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics. At least basic knowledge of astronomy, e.g. the Leiden course "Introduction to astrophysics".
This course introduces the theoretical underpinnings and the observational evidence for modern cosmology.
After reviewing the evidence for the hot Big Bang model, we study the basics of relativistic cosmology and the expansion history. We then discuss the measurement of cosmological parameters, dark matter and dark energy. Next we study the thermal history and physical processes occurring in the early universe, such as inflation, Big Bang nucleosynthesis and recombination.
This course covers the following topics:
Cosmic kinematics and dynamics
Measurement of cosmological parameters
Thermal history of the Universe
Cosmic microwave background anisotropies
Upon completion of this course you will be able to describe the current cosmological model and the observational evidence supporting this. Moreover, you will be able to do relevant calculations and read the scientific literature on the topic.
Upon completion of this course you will be able to:
Explain the basics of the current cosmological model
Use the Friedmann equations to calculate quantities in an expanding Universe
Explain how cosmological parameters are measured
Discuss the need for non-baryonic dark matter
Explain various milestones in the thermal history, including Big Bang nucleosynthesis, neutrino decoupling, recombination and photon decoupling
Interpret observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background
Explain how inflation solves the problems with the Big Bang model
In this course, you are trained in the following behavior-oriented skills:
Explaining and analyzing complex and non-intuitive concepts
See Astronomy master schedules
Mode of instruction
Written exam: 75%, see the Astronomy master examination schedules
Three homework assignments: 25% (if higher than result of written exam)
Instructions and course material can be found on Brightspace. Registration for Brightspace occurs automatically when students enroll in uSis via uSis by registration for a class activity using a class number
Introduction to Cosmology, 2nd edition (B. Ryden), ISBN 9781107154834 (recommended but not required)
Register via uSis. More information about signing up for classes and exams can be found here. Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to register. For Interest only & Contractual enrolment, please see this website (in Dutch only).
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. J. (Joop) Schaye
Teaching assistants: Joey Braspenning, Evgenii Chaikin, Roy Kugel