G6005: PHYSICAL COSMOLOGY, Autumn 1999
Assoc. Prof. Arlin Crotts

The Universe is much bigger than it was 25 years ago; suddenly there is much more room for new questions about the physical nature of the Cosmos. More importantly, some of these questions are being answered. This 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 upshot of all these recent developments is that no textbook exists that covers the whole field. John Peacock's Cosmological Physics (1998) does a good job of covering cosmological theory, and a satisfactory treatment of the observational side. In truth, much of the material is too recent to be found in any textbook. Much material will only be covered in the lecture notes (photocopies of the lecture viewgraphs).

To accomodate the more recent material, about 20% of the course will consist of a "journal club" where members of the class report (for about 20 minutes at a time) on papers that interest them. These are selected from the list at the back of this course description (or choose your own! - consult with Dr. Crotts first). Depending on class size, each student will present two or three of these during the semester. Dr. Crotts will lecture the bulk of the remaining time (expect some guest lecturers for some of special topics); there will be a final which counts for 50% of the course grade, and a short midterm quiz. A few problem sets will also be assigned. Attendance is important!

Course Outline

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

Week 1: I.A - I.D.1
Week 2-3: I.D.2
Week 4: I.E - II.A.3
Week 5: II.A.5 - II.B
Week 6: II.C - III.A
Week 7: III.B - III.C
Week 8: IV
Week 9: V.A - V.F
Week 10: V.G - VI.D
Week 11: VII
Week 12: VIII - IX
Week 13: favorites from X - XIV


Cosmological Physics John A. Peacock 1998 (Cambridge Univ. Press; Cambridge), ISBN 0521422701 (paperback); chapters on general relativity, isotropic universe, gravitational lensing, age and distance scales, hot big bang, matter in the Universe, galaxies and their evolution, active galaxies, structure formation, cosmological density fields, galaxy formation, cosmic background fluctuations, quantum mechanics, quantum fields, inflationary cosmology
-on reserve and in the bookstore


R.D. Blandford, R. Narayan 1993, Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrop., 30, 311. "Cosmological Applications of Gravitational Lenses"

G.H. Jacoby, D. Branch, R. Ciardullo, R.L. Davies, W.E. Harris, M.J. Pierce, C.J. Pritchet, J.L. Tonry, D.L. Welch 1992, Proc. Astron. Soc. Pac., 104, 570. "A Critical Review of Selected Techniques for Measuring Extragalactic Distances"


The Early Universe Edward W. Kolb & Michael Turner 1990 (Addison-Wesley: Redwood City, CA), chapters on Robertson-Walker Metric, Standard Cosmology, Big Bang Nucleosynthesis, Thermodynamics, Baryogenesis, Phase Transition, Inflation, Structure Formation, Planck Epoch, Appendix B
-on reserve and in the bookstore

Principles of Physical Cosmology P.J.E. Peebles 1993 (Princeton U. Press: Princeton), sections on Expanding Universe; Thermal Cosmic Background Radiation; Walls, Strings, Monopoles, and Textures; Dark Matter; Young Galaxies and Intergalactic Medium; Galaxy Formation
-on reserve and in the bookstore

Gravitation and Cosmology: Principles and Applications of the General Theory of Relativity Steven Weinberg 1972 (Wiley: New York)
-on reserve

The Early Universe: Reprints Edward W. Kolb & Michael Turner 1988 (Addison- Wesley: Redwood City, CA)
-on reserve

Large-Scale Structure of the Universe P. J. E. Peebles 1980 (Princeton U. Press: Princeton)
-on reserve


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

The Anthropic Cosmological Principle John Barrow & Frank Tipler 1986 (Oxford U: New York)
-on reserve

Gravitation Charles W. Misner, Kip S. Thorne & John A. Wheeler 1973 (Freeman: San Francisco)
-on reserve

Plus: the remaining chapters of Kolb & Turner 1990 and Peebles 1993


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