Caput Lecture Course
Dark Energy
November 2013-January 2014
University Groningen

    Rien van de Weygaert,

                      ZG 186,   tel. 3634086,   weygaert@astro.rug.nl


The lecture schedule will be:

      Wednesday       09:00-11:00       hoorcollege/lecture               ZG 161     


First lecture will be on wednesday November 13

Student Presentations will be on Jan. 8, 15 and 22.

November 27: lecture cancelled, seminar & workvisit lecturer.

December 16/17: handing out of presentation topic list.

Required Knowledge:

It will be assumed you will have followed the basic lecture course "Cosmology". It is not a formal requisite.


The exam will consist of a student presentation on a special topic, and the accompanying report/lecture notes (see below). The student presentations are scheduled for the lectures of Jan. 15 and 22.

Presentation & Report Topics

The exam of the course involves the presentation of a 45 minute lecture (one lecture hour) on a special dark energy related topic, along with a short ~10 page report that will form the lecture notes. Below follows a list of 14 topics that I have listed, along with literature suggestions. Feel free to discuss these with me. Alternatively, you may define a dark energy related topic by yourself. In that case first discuss it with me, along with a set of literature references.

The presentations will be on wednesday January 15 and 22. Contact me for selecting a slot.

A list of 14 dark energy related topics is provided. You may chose one of these topics:

      Presentation & Report Topics


The course will be based upon the lecture notes, to be distributed during the course.

In addition, the course will involve a large number of relevant scientific papers. These will be discussed during the course. Their references will be given on this website.

No specific book will be followed. Nonetheless, several books may be used for background material. We may mention:

        Steven Weinberg
        Oxford University Press, 2008

        ISBN 978-0198526827

     Introduction to Cosmology
        Barbara Ryden
        Addison Wesley, 2002

        ISBN 0805389121 (hardcover)

     Dark Energy: Observational and Theoretical Approaches
        Pilar Ruiz-Lapuente, ed.
        Cambridge Univ. Press (2010)
        ISBN 0521518888 (hardcover)
        ISBN 1107647029 (paperback)

Lecture Notes & Exam Material:

The course is based upon the lecture notes. Below you find a listing of the notes.

The notes you can download in 2 forms:
* ppt file, a colour pdf (handout, 2 slices/page) and a greyscale pdf (handout, 2 slices/page)
* pdf file texed notes

Below you find a listing of the notes, and I will notify you when they become available. Subsequently, they will be available for downloading.
Please check the notes you have. When you are missing one or more items contact me.

      Dark Energy: introduction           ppt
         Dark Energy: introduction          handout, pdf

      Cosmological Context: FRW universe           ppt
         Cosmological Context: FRW Universe          handout, pdf

      Dark Energy: probes                     ppt
         Dark Energy: probes          handout, pdf

For searching the astronomical literature the two most important website to consult are those of

     ADS:       NASA Astrophysics Data System
     astro-ph:   astrophysics e-print server

Notice that ADS allows you to expand your literature search via the references of the paper under consideration, as well as the links to the papers that refer to it. While using this possibility wisely you may quickly find most relevant studies. Also notice that the links of ADS to the journals in which the papers are published may need you to use your student number + password for the University library, or you have registered with the University Library, when working from outside the university (e.g. from home). Otherwise you will not be able to use the university subscription to these journals.

Interesting Literature

During the course several papers relating to the lecture content will be handed out. Here you may download them.

      Dark Energy: how the paradigm shifted
        Calder & Lahav, 2010, Physics World, Jan. 2010
      Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe
        Frieman, Turner & Huterer, 2008, ARAA, 46, 385-432
      The Physics of Cosmic Acceleration
        Caldwell & Kamionkowski, 3009, Ann. Rev. Nucl. Part. Sci., 59, 397-429
      Observational probes of cosmic acceleration
        Weinberg, Mortonson, Eisenstein, Hirata, Riess & Rozo, 2013, Physics Reports, 530, 87

Lecture Schedule:
(provisional, changes possible)

Subject Hoorcollege
November 13

Dark Energy: Introduction

November 20

Cosmological Context: FRW Universes

December 4

Cosmic Distance Measures

December 11

Dark Energy: Probes II (Supernovae)

December 18

Dark Energy: Probes III (BAOs)