Proposal for a One-Semester Graduate Physical Cosmology Course/b>

We propose a one-semester course coverring modern observational and theoretical cosmology, designed to provide a sophisticated survey dealing with the production of particles and elements in the Big Bang, the cosmological production and growth of mass perturbations, dark matter and energy, cosmological parameters, the intergalactic medium, heating and reionization. The course develops succintly the required tools in general relativity, statistical mechanics, field theory and observational techniques so as to limit the number of required prerequisites. One year of quantum mechanics and one year of classical mechanics are required. A course in introductory astronomy or astrophysics is strongly recommended. Mathematics includes integral calculus, tensors, some differential equations and special functions (gamma functions, spherical harmonics, elliptical integrals, etc.)


Course Outline


Cosmological Physics John A. Peacock 1998 (Cambridge Univ. Press; Cambridge), ISBN 0521422701 (paperback - $40 at Barnes and Noble); 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

Galaxies and Cosmology (Theoretical Astrophysics, Volume III) Thanu Padmanabhan 2002 (Cambridge Univ. Press; Cambridge), ISBN 0521566304 (paperback - $52 at Barnes and Noble)

REQUIRED ARTICLES (To Be Distributed):

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"

Carroll, S.M., Press, W.H., Turner, E.L. 1992, Ann. Rev. Astron. & Astrop., 30, 499. "The Cosmological Constant"

BACKUP TEXTS (On Reserve):

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

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

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

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

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


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)

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

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

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)

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

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

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