Astronomy 622 : Cosmology

Spring 2018

Cosmic Web (Ricotti 2002) 

The evolution of the universe from the "Big Bang" to the formation of stars and galaxies.


    Instructor:  Massimo Ricotti
    Class:       room ATL 0201
    Lectures:    Tuesday & Thursday 
		 2:00pm to 3:15pm
    First class: Thursday Jan 25 
    Last  class: Thursday May 10
    Final exam:	 Wednesday May 16 

Contact Info

If you need help or have questions you can reach me here


You can download the Syllabus in pdf format Syllabus.pdf


"Galaxy Formation and Evolution", by Mo, van den Bosch, White
Nice general book I used in past classes:
"Cosmology" by Peter Cole and Francesco Lucchin
Nice book on Inflation and high-energy universe:
"Cosmological Inflation and Large-Scale Structure" by Andrew R. Liddle, David H. Lyth

Scanned Notes of the Course

In addition to the textbook, I will make available (on ELMS) my handwritten notes and other notes and resources either provided by colleagues or published and available on the web. Useful resouces are also linked here.

Course Description

Part I: Linear Universe - 18 lectures.

  1. Era of ``non-standard'' particle physics: Friedman-Leimatrie cosmology, Hubble law, redshift, inflation, perturbations from inflation, reheating and baryogenesis
  2. Era of ``standard'' particle physics: Kinetic theory in the expanding universe, equilibrium thermodynamic, neutrino decoupling, non-baryonic matter, thermal history, primordial nucleosynthesis, CMB spectrum, recombination and decoupling, linear growth of cosmological perturbations
  3. CMB anisotropies: linear theory

Part II: Non-linear Universe (extragalactic astronomy) - 10 lectures

  1. Measuring cosmological parameters, dark matter and dark energy
  2. Large scale structure and galaxy formation: Top-hat collapse, large scale structure formation (simulations and theory), Press-Schechter formalism, first stars and galaxies, Lyman-alpha forest and reionization, density profile of dark matter halos, unsolved problems.

Homework, Exams and Term Project:

During the semester I will hand out 4-5 homework, a midterm and final exam (closed books). Each of you will write a review paper or a web page on a cosmology topic of your choice. At the end of the semester you will give a short presentation.

Course Grading

There will be one in-class Midterm exam, a term project and a Final. Class participation and attendance is strongly encouraged. The grade will be determined according to the following weights:

Letter Grades

A+ 	> 97%
A  	94%-97%
A- 	90%-94%
B+ 	87%-90%
B  	84%-87%
B- 	80%-84%
C+ 	77%-80%
C  	74%-77%
C- 	70%-74%
D	< 70%