The Cosmology course aims to provide students with a modern vision and as complete as possible of the history and evolution of the Universe as a whole. In Cosmology, the last few years we have witnessed the birth of the so-called "standard cosmological model", i.e. of a series of theoretical and observational results that, overall, provide a relatively complete description of the main physical processes on large scale affecting the Universe. The course will provide the basics for understand the standard cosmological model,with particular regard to uniform and isotropic models of the Universe (leaving much of the study of inhomogeneities for the course of Cosmology 2). Although the course is predominantly theoretical, quite some emphasis will be given to the application of the concepts learned for cosmological measurements.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will be able to
1. Know the main observational astrophysical parameters relevant to the cosmology.
2. Understand the main hypotheses used for the construction of the models cosmological and their geometric implications in a relativistic context.
3. Know the dynamic history of the Universe (Big Bang and the age of the Universe, Hubble law and accelerated expansion).
3. Have a complete view of the thermal history of the Universe and the element formation (primordial nucleosynthesis).
4. Know some of the most effective survey techniques of the Universe (formation of massive structures, gravitational lenses, cosmic background radiation)
5. Appreciate how some of the problems left unresolved by the model cosmological standards can be solved by the inflationary paradigm.
6. Solving simple problems of a cosmological nature, performing the relative problems calculations, and using real data present in public databases.
Lesson period: Second semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
- Observational cosmology · The structure of the Milky Way and the nearby Universe · Galaxies, clusters of galaxies · Particles present in the observable universe · Distance and mass measurements in cosmology · Hubble's law
- Classical cosmology · Cosmological principles · References to the concept of metrics in relativity · Isotropic universe (Robertson-Walker metric) · Friedmann-Lemaître equations · Distances in cosmology · Dynamics of expansion and simple cosmological models
- Thermal history of the universe · Kinetic and chemical balance of particles · Boltzmann equation · Plenty of particles and freeze-outs · Decoupling of neutrinos · Primordial nucleosynthesis: theory and observations
- Gravitational lensing · Strong lensing theory · Simple lens models and cosmological applications · Weak gravitational lensing in clusters of galaxies · Notes on weak lensing in a cosmological context
- Inflation and cosmic microwave background · Boltzmann's equations for photons · Einstein's equations with linear perturbations · Initial conditions and inflation · Anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background
Prerequisites for admission
The contents of the three-year degree physics and mathematics courses are considered indispensable. In addition, the contents of the Astronomy course (Master's Degree) are highly recommended.
"Cosmology", S. Weinberg, Oxford University Press, 2004 "Cosmological Physics", J.A. Peacock, Cambridge University Press, 2012 "The Early Universe", E.W. KolbFrontiers & M.S. Turner, Frontiers in Physics, 1994 "Modern Cosmology", S. Dodelson, Elsevier, 2003 Scripts
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an oral discussion lasting one hour that focuses on the topics covered in the course and on the ability to use the information available to the student to obtain simple results of cosmological relevance.