Lecture Course
Cosmic Structure Formation
November 2012-January 2013
University Groningen

    Rien van de Weygaert,

                      ZG 186,   tel. 3634086,

     Johan Hidding,
                      ZG 185,   tel. 3634085,


The lecture schedule will be:

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

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

      Friday         11:00-13:00       werkcollege/tutorials             ZG 257


First lecture will be on monday November 12, the first tutorial on friday November 16

Exam will be on Friday January 25, 14:00-17:30 (ZG161)

There will be a special guest lecture by prof. Sergei Shandarin, on the Zeldovich & Adhesion approximation. Date and place will be announced later.

November 28: lecture cancelled, lecturer ill.

Wednesday December 12: regular lectures
    Friday December 14: lecture by prof. S. Shandarin on the Zel'dovich & Adhesion formalism; replaces werkcollege.

Required Knowledge:

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

A recapitulation, overview and summary of the necessary knowledge of basic Cosmology (including some General Relativity), will be the subject of the first week's lecture.


The exam will consist of three/four elements:

      written exam -- January 25, 2013: 14:00-17:30

      presentation special topic

      3 computer tasks


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

No specific book will be followed. Nonetheless, several books are recommended for the purpose
of the necessary backup information, overlapping substantially with parts of the lecture material:

        Steven Weinberg
        Oxford University Press, 2008

        ISBN 978-0198526827

     Cosmological Physics
        John Peacock
        Cambridge University Press, 1998

        ISBN 0521422701 (paper)

The most up-to-date books focussing on structure and galaxy formation are:

     Galaxy Formation
        Malcolm Longair
        Astronomy & Astrophysics Library, 2nd ed., Springer

        ISBN 9783540734772 (hb)

     Galaxy Formation and Evolution
        H.J. Mo, F. van den Bosch, S.D.M. White
        Cambridge Univ. Press

        ISBN 978-0521857932 (hb)

In addition, THE book on basic cosmology that I will always warmly recommend (but which you are not required to have) - one of the few textbooks really fun reading and a marvel of didactic writing -- is:

     Introduction to Cosmology
        Barbara Ryden
        Addison Wesley, 2002

        ISBN 0805389121 (hardcover)

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 3 forms:
* ppt file, a colour pdf (handout, 2 slices/page) and a greyscale pdf (handout, 2 slices/page)
* pdf file texed notes
* xerox copy, distributed during the course

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.

      FRW cosmology           ppt
         FRW Cosmology          handout, pdf

         study thoroughly: basic to understanding of the course

      Overview: Large Scale Structure of the Universe           ppt
         Overview: Large Scale Structure of the Universe          handout, pdf

         study thoroughly, overview of course material

      Galaxy Redshift Surveys                 ppt
         Galaxy Redshift Surveys, h2pdf      handout, pdf, colour

         read thoroughly: while not necessary to know all details, you may be asked to reproduce general facts on e.g. SDSS survey. Necessary to know in detail: listing of "cosmic fossils" (and what they mean), galaxy luminosity function, Schechter function, survey depths, survey strategies, photometric redshifts, magnitude- and volume-limited surveys, ...

      Gravitational Instability Theory Handout
         Overview & Outline gravitational instability theory (& course)

      Linear Perturbation Theory       pdf

         Key chapter !!!!!! You must be able to follow all equations (and work with them).
          Know by heart: comoving vs. physical perturbation quantities (eqn. 2,3,10,15,16,18), full and linear fluid equations (particularly: eqns. sect. 6.1), linear perturbation eqn.(eqn. 4), general solution (eqn. 43), solution for EdS universe (eqn. 48), solution empty Universe (eqn. 54), structure freeze-out time open Universe (eqn. 61, 62), general growth factor (eqn. 87, 88), relation matter and radiation density fluctuation adiabatic regime (eqn. 106), gravitational potential fluctuation (eqn. 111), potential growth factor (eqn. 115), peculiar gravity (eqn. 120), peculiar gravity growth factor (eqn. 121), peculiar velocity (eqn. 142), definition Peebles factor (eqn. 143, 144), peculiar velocity growth factor (eqn. 148), peculiar velocity (eqn. 153, 158), definition bias (eqn. 157), beta factor (eqn. 159)
         Skip: section 7.3.5, 7.3.6

         Use the next item, the cosmic flows draft, as illustration of linear velocity fields.

      Cosmic Flows                         ppt
         Cosmic Flows, h2pdf               handout, pdf, colour

          Read thoroughly. Know by heart: definition dipole.

      Random Field Theory              Handout
         "Starting Conditions"

         Important for exam !!!! Know by heart Fourier definitions, definition power spectrum, relation power spectrum and correlation function, definition Gaussian distribution (in real space and Fourier space), velocity and potential power spectrum. Important to be able to explain the influence of power spectrum on development structure. Different contributions to power spectrum (primordial power spectrum: Harrison-Zeldovich spectrum; transfer functions), normalization power spectrum, be able to explain features (slopes, maximum) in CDM power spectrum).

      Fluctuation Modes/Mass Scales Handout
         Fluctations modes (adiabatic, isocurvature, isothermal)
         Jeans Instability, Jeans Mass, Silk Damping, Silk Mass, Meszaros effect

         Important for exam !!!! Know by heart: fluid eqns. of motion including pressure, definition Jean instability, Jeans mass, sound velocity in pre- and post-recombination era, perturbation evolution during radiation- and mass-domination in pre-recombination era (both sub- and super Jeans mass scale), development horizon, Jeans and Silk damping mass as function of time.

      Going nonlinear                      pdf

         Exam material:
         Zel'dovich approximation, Spherical Model, Ellipsoidal Model
         Not exam material: Lagrangian Perturbation Theory (sect. 3: but good to read); also skip sect. 4.2, 4.3
         Know by heart: Zel'dovich, eqn. 31, 36, 49, 50, 52, 54, 63, 64, 71.
         Know by heart: Spherical model, eqn. 79, 82, 83, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99
         Know by heart: Ellipsoidal model, eqn. 110, 111, 116, 123
         Also see handout "Systems of High Symmetry"

      Systems of High Symmetry     Handout
         Includes exam material:
         Spherical Model,
         Ellipsoidal Model,
         Press-Schechter Formalism

         Exam material: study thoroughly. You will be expected to be able to follow all equations in detail, and reproduce the line of reasoning.

      Clusters and the Theory of the Cosmic Web                    pdf
         van de Weygaert & Bond 2008a;
         A Pan-Chromatic View of Clusters and the Large-Scale Structure;
         Lecture notes in Physics 740; eds. M. Plionis, O. Lopez-Cruz, D. Hughes

         Exam: read thoroughly; you will be expected to understand the overall picture (but not the details); you may e.g. be asked to summarize the essential points of the cosmic web theory.

      Observations and Morphology of the Cosmic Web           pdf
         van de Weygaert & Bond 2008b;
         A Pan-Chromatic View of Clusters and the Large-Scale Structure;
         Lecture notes in Physics 740; eds. M. Plionis, O. Lopez-Cruz, D. Hughes

         Exam: read thoroughly; you will be expected to understand the overall picture (but not the details); you may e.g. be asked to write a summary on major components of the cosmic web and the role of voids.

      Statistical Measures of Large Scale Structure      ppt
         Statistical Measures of Large Scale Structure, h2pdf            handout, pdf, colour

         Exam: study thoroughly and in detail. Necessary to know the definition of two-point correlation function, n-point correlation functions, ergodic theorem, ways to measure the correlation functions, influence boundary and selection effects, power-law 2pt correlation function (parameters and values), power spectrum analysis, Minkowski functionals;

      CMB                                      ppt
         CMB, h2pdf                           handout, pdf, colour
         For exam:     Sachs-Wolfe effect; the rest: read thoroughly
         (ie. you are supposed to know to answer a general question, without equations, on the CMB)

         Exam: study thoroughly and in detail. Necessary to know the description of CMB temperature fluctuations in spherical harmonics, power spectrum in spherical harmonics, Sachs-Wolfe effect (eqn.), primary and secondary CMB anisotropies, sensitivity angular power spectrum to curvature, baryonic matter, matter and dark energy. Rest: read thoroughly.

Large Scale Structure movies

It is highly instructive to study the following movies:

Galaxy Distribution:

      SDSS3 galaxy redshift survey, zoom-out
      SDSS3 galaxy redshift survey, rotate

Computer Simulations Structure Formation:

      Virgo LCDM simulation
         Courtesy: Volker Springel & Virgo consortium
      Millennium simulation, zoom-in
         Courtesy: Volker Springel & Virgo consortium
      Millennium simulation, flythrough
         Courtesy: Volker Springel & Virgo consortium


Werkcollege (tutorials)

The files with the werkcollege assignments will be attached.

You are expected to solve the assignments yourself that were not completed during the werkcollege/tutorial class. Please turn them in to your tutor (ie. Johan) !

Presentation Topics:

The presentation is part of the final exam. The intention is to investigate in some detail and to some depth one particular topic related to the formation of structure in the Universe. You are expected to acquaint yourself with a few of the essential literature references and to critically assess them (do not always take statements for granted, the field is moving quickly, knowledge may get outdated, viewpoints may change or be proven wrong).

A list of 19 topics from which you are invited to choose:

      Presentation Topics                                      pdf

We are looking forward to some illuminating and interesting presentations ! Recall this may be deep stuff and we need to learn far more ourselves about most issues too. So please educate us !

Rien and Johan

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.

Lecture Schedule:
(provisional, changes possible)

Subject HoorcollegeDates
Subject Werkcollege
1 November 12 (c)

November 14 (c)
Introduction: Cosmic Inventory:
Large Scale Structure & Cosmic Structure Formation
Galaxies, Groups, Clusters, Superclusters, IGM
Primordial Fluctuations & the Cosmic Microwave Background
Cosmic Structure Formation

Basic Cosmology:
Einstein Field Equation,
Cosmological Principle, Robertson-Walker metric,
Redshift, Cosmic Distances
Friedman Equations
Cosmic Epochs
November 16 (w) FRW Cosmology
FRW universe solutions
Observational Cosmology
2 November 19 (c)

November 21 (c)
Gravitational Instability:
(Linear) Perturbation Theory,
Structure Growth

Cosmic Components &
Influence on Cosmic Structure Formation:
   Matter: Baryonic Matter & Dark Matter
   Dark Energy
Cosmic Flows
November 23 (w)

Perturbation Theory
Growth Factors
3 November 26 (c)

November 28 (c)
Random Density & Velocity Fields
Multidimensional Gaussian distributions
Power Spectrum

Nonlinear Clustering & Structure Formation
Hierarchical Clustering,
Anisotropic Collapse and the Formation of Voids
Spherical Model, Ellipsoidal Model
November 30 (w)

Point Processes
(computer task)
4 December 3 (c)

December 5 (c)
Lagrangian Perturbation Theory
Zel'dovich formalism
Adhesion approximation

Phase Space Dynamics
Phase Space Sheet

Matter Scales
Jeans Mass, Silk damping
Cosmic Scenarios:
Power spectra Cold Dark Matter, Hot Dark Matter
non-Gaussian perturbations
December 7(w) Random Gaussian Fields
(computer task)
5 December 10 (c)

December 12 (c)
Mapping the Universe
Galaxy sky surveys
Galaxy redshift Surveys
Lensing Surveys

The Cosmic Web Observed
Cosmic Web: Filaments, Sheets and Voids
Clusters of Galaxies
December 14 (w)Power Spectrum &
Spherical Model
6 December 17 (c)

December 19 (c)
Analysis of the Large Scale Structure
Correlation functions
Counts in Cells
Power spectrum
Higher-order statistics
Genus, Minkowski functionals, Betti numbers

Cosmic Web Analysis
Tessellation Analysis, DTFE, Phase Space Sheet
Multiscale Morphology Filter
Watershed (Void Finder)
Morse Theory, Skeleton \& Cosmic Spine
December 21 (w)Two-point correlation function
(computer task)
7 January 7 (c)

January 9 (c)
Hierarchical clustering:
Press-Schechter and Excursion set formalism
Peak-patch formalism
Cosmic Tidal Fields &
Cosmic Web Theory

Cooling and Galaxy Formation
Halo Model

Nonlinear Structure Formation: N-body models
N-body simulation techniques
Cosmological Hydro simulation techniques
Cosmological Computer Simulations:
Cluster Simulations
Large Scale Structure simulations
January 11 (w)Press-Schechter Formalism
& Halo Mass Functions
8 January 14 (c)

January 16 (c)

Intergalactic Medium: Lya forest & WHIM
Gravitational Lensing, Cosmic Shear
Dark Ages, First Stars & Reionization

Cosmic Microwave Background Anisotropies
CMB anisotropies, temperature perturbations
CMB anisotropies, experiments & satellites
CMB anisotropies, analysis & maps

CMB anisotropies, secondary perturbations
CMB anisotropies, polarization

January 18 (w)N-body Simulations
(computer task)