Astronomy 622 : Cosmology

Spring 2012

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 CSS 0201
    Lectures:    Tuesday & Thursday 
		 2:00pm to 3:15pm
    First class: Thursday Jan 26 
    Last  class: Thursday May 10
    Final exam:	 Wednesday May 16 

Contact Info

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

Scanned Notes of the Course

I have scanned my handwritten notes and published them in PDF format. In order to avoid creating files that are too large I have created 7 separate files.

Course Description

Part I: Linear Universe - 19 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) - 9 lectures

  1. CMB: beyond linear theory, measuring cosmological parameters
  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.


Strongly Recommended:
"Cosmology" by Peter Cole and Francesco Lucchin
Nice book on Inflation and high-energy universe (first part of the course) :
"Cosmological Inflation and Large-Scale Structure" by Andrew R. Liddle, David H. Lyth

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+ 	> 96%
A  	91.5%-96%
A- 	87.5%-91.5%
B+ 	83.5%-87.5%
B  	79%-87.5%
B- 	75%-79%
C+ 	71%-75%
C  	66.5%-71%
C- 	62.5%-66.5%
D	< 62.5%


You can download the Syllabus in pdf format Syllabus.pdf or read the html version Syllabus.html


Lectures, homework and term project:

During the semester I will hand out 4-5 homework. 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.