Observational Cosmology

MW 2-3:15 PM

CSS 0201

**Prof. Stacy McGaugh**

office: 1251 CSS

phone: (301) 405-7897

www.astro.umd.edu/~ssm/ASTR688

Principles ofPhysical Cosmology P.J.E. Peebles |
CosmologicalPhysics J.A. Peacock |

- provide a grounding in the essential elements of the modern cosmological model,
- survey observational evidence motivating and testing it, and
- familiarize you with the modern practice of cosmology as a research topic.

- 4 Problem sets (worth a total of 25% of your grade)
- 2 exams, a midterm (25%) and a final (25%)
- Midterm: Monday, March 18, in class
*tentatively* - Final: Monday, May 20, 8-10 AM
*ack!*

- Midterm: Monday, March 18, in class
- A class project (25%)

The class project will be a debate of the values of the
fundamental cosmic parameters.

You will each investigate an observational constraint of your choosing
from a list I will provide. You will report on it to the class, both
in writing and in an oral presentation. After all presentations are complete,
we will as a group debate what it all means.

- Introduction
- Historical perspective: cosmologies of ancient and medieval peoples
- Overview of the genesis of modern cosmology in General Relativity
- Cosmological Essentials
- Simple Newtonian Cosmology
- The Robertson-Walker metric and Friedmann models
- Empirical Pillars of modern cosmology
- Cosmological Parameters: H0, t, O, q, L, T(CMBR), Yp, Ob, CDM
- The Size scale of the Universe
- The Hubble relation
- The expansion rate (H0) and age (t) of the Universe
- Calibration
- The Age of the Universe
- Globular Cluster ages
- White dwarf age limits
- Radioactive decay and interstellar grain limits
- The density parameter
- The role of density parameter (O) in specifying world model
- Importance of O to H0 and t
- Relation of O to deceleration parameter (q) and cosmological constant (L )
- Measures of O, q, and L
- Primordial Nucleosynthesis
- Photon to baryon ratio (entropy)
- Abundances of the light elements: Yp, D/H, Li/H
- Entropy and the density of baryons (Ob)
- Cosmic Microwave Background
- Anisotropy and T(CMBR)
- Structure formation and fluctuations in the CMBR
- The Mass Discrepancy Problem
- Cosmological and dynamical motivations
- The need for cold dark matter (CDM)
- Alternative possibilities: MACHOs, MOND, etc.
- Alternative world models
- as time permits