Observational Cosmology

This course will explore modern cosmology from both a theoretical and observational perspective. The essential framework of the Friedmann model based on the Robertson-Walker metric and its Newtonian approximation will be given. Important parameters will be introduced and examined: the expansion rate and age of the universe; the density and deceleration parameters and the cosmological constant; nucleosynthesis of the light elements and the cosmic density of baryons; the microwave background and structure formation; and the missing mass problem. Emphasis will be placed on observations which motivate, measure, and test the standard modern world model.