Astronomy 622 : Cosmology

Fall 2023

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 
		 12:30pm to 1:45pm
    First class: Tuesday Aug 29 
    Last  class: Thursday Dec 7
    Final exam:	 Monday Dec 18 

Contact Info

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


You can download the Syllabus in pdf format Syllabus.pdf


I will use class notes uploaded on ELMS, so there are no mandatory textbooks. Below is a list of books I have used in the past that you may enjoy reading.
"Cosmology" by Peter Cole and Francesco Lucchin

Very extensive book on Cosmology and Galaxy formation:
"Galaxy Formation and Evolution", by Mo, van den Bosch, White

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

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.

Weekly Quiz, Homework, Exams and Term Project:

There will be weekly multiple choice Quizes (automatically graded) on ELMS, typically due on Tue before class. During the semester I will hand out 4 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 exam. 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%