PH757 - Cosmology

Course: PH757 - Cosmology
Instructor: Ewan Stewart
Web page:
Time: 4:30 - 6pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays
Place: Room 1322 (physics)
Credits: 3
Evaluation: attendance 30, class participation 30, problems 40

Course description

This course is an introduction to cosmology at roughly the master course level. It will cover the entire history of the universe from speculations about its earliest moments to observations of its present state. In order to make the course self-contained, it will also include necessary background material in general relativity, particle physics, and classical and quantum fields. As the lectures will be in English, the course should also give you the opportunity to improve your English skills.

Syllabus and Lecture Notes

The lecture notes are in double page landscape format. Use "lpr -Z shortedge" to print. Comments on these lecture notes will be greatly appreciated and will count towards class participation.

Introduction Introduction syllabus, questionnaire, ...
Overview units
basic observed properties of the universe
brief history
General relativity homogeneous and isotropic expanding universe
Early universe Inflation motivation and definition
types of inflation
quantum fields in de Sitter space
generating perturbations
Dangerous relics topological defects
moduli and thermal inflation
Necessary relics baryogenesis
dark matter
Middle universe Nucleosynthesis
(Kolb and Turner, chapter 4)
constraints from nucleosynthesis
Cosmic microwave background isotropic background
measuring cosmic parameters
Late universe Observational cosmology
(Peacock, part 5)
matter in the universe
galaxies and their evolution
active galaxies
Galaxy formation and clustering
(Peacock, part 6)
dynamics of structure formation
cosmological density fields
galaxy formation
Accelerating universe supernova observations
vacuum energy and the anthropic principle


  1. Simple observations
  2. Metric and matter
  3. Perturbations
  4. Scalar field dynamics during inflation
  5. Perturbations generated during inflation