C3602: Physical Cosmology and Extragalactic Astronomy
Spring 2000

Assoc. Prof. Arlin Crotts

Many startling, new advances are being made in our understanding of the Cosmos and the objects in it. For the first time we are beginning to glimpse how large pieces of the puzzle may fit together. Let us be humble about this, however; many basic questions still remain unanswered. Our progress is due in part to major advances in the technology of astronomical observation, but due as well to new cross-fertilization between astrophysics and particle physics. In addition, there are many clever ideas that have cropped up recently due to neither effect; maybe more people are simply more excited about cosmology these days.

The basic text for the course is a simply-written, little book (136 pages) Cosmology: a First Course (1995) by Marc Lachièze-Rey, supplemented by excerpts from the more substantial Principles of Physical Cosmology (1993) by P.J.E. Peebles. Much material, especially the more recent, will be covered only in the lecture notes (photocopies of the lecture viewgraphs).

Dr. Crotts will lecture most class meetings, but will leave considerable time for discussion. There will be a final exam which counts for 33% of the course grade, and a short midterm quiz (17%). Problem sets account for 40% of the course grade, and class participation 10%. Attendance is important!

Note on mathematical prerequisite: we will use differential and integral calculus. If this makes you uncomfortable, please consult with Dr. Crotts immediately at the beginning of the course. Please be honest with yourself about whether your mathematical preparation is adequate.

Course Outline

APPROXIMATE TIMELINE (please don't hold us to this!):

Week 1: I
Week 2: II
Week 3: II-III
Week 4: IV
Week 5: V
Week 6: VI
Week 7: VII
Week 8: VIII
Week 9: IX
Week 10: X
Week 11: XI
Week 12: XII
Week 13: XIII


Cosmology: a first course Marc Lachièze-Rey 1995 (Cambridge Univ. Press; Cambridge), ISBN 0521479665 (paperback)
-on reserve and in the bookstore

Principles of Physical Cosmology P.J.E. Peebles 1993 (Princeton U. Press: Princeton), ISBN 0691019339 (paperback)
-on reserve and in the bookstore


D.N. Schramm: "The First Three Minutes: 1990 Version" and P. J. E. Peebles "General Introduction" in *After* the First Three Minutes eds. Holt, Bennett & Trimble 1990 (Amer. Inst. Physics: New York)
-on reserve


Man Discovers the Galaxies R. Berendzen, R. Hart & D. Seely 1976 (Science History Publishers: New York)
-on reserve

Darkness at Night: A Riddle of the Cosmos Edward Harrison 1987 (Harvard U: Cambridge)
-on reserve

The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe Steven Weinberg 1982 (Basic Books: New York)
-on reserve

The Fifth Essence: A Search for Dark Matter in the Universe Lawrence Krauss 1990 (Basic Books: New York)
-on reserve