Andrew J. Connolly
Studies the universe as a whole. Overview of fundamental observations of cosmology and an introduction to general relativity. Examines theories of the past and future history of the universe, the nature of dark matter and dark energy, and the origin of ordinary matter on the large-scale structure. Prerequisite: PHYS 224; PHYS 225.
This is a self-contained course designed to introduce students to the basics of cosmology. The course has a significant mathematical content, principally geometry, algebra and calculus. The topics we will cover include: the cosmological principle, expansion of the universe, the Robertson-Walker metric, dynamics of an expanding universe, observational constraints on the expansion of the universe, the role of dark matter and dark energy, the cosmic microwave background, gravitational lensing, inflation, new probes of cosmology.
Student learning goals
Explain the physical principles that describe the expansion of the universe
Calculate distance, volume and age of the universe as a function of redshift for a range of different cosmological models
Measure the scales on which structures collapse due to gravity and how this depends on the nature of the dark matter.
Characterize the observational probes of cosmology and how they can be used to measure the properties of dark matter and dark energy
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading