Lecture Course
Cosmic Structure Formation
November 2016-January 2017
University of Groningen

    Rien van de Weygaert,

                      ZG 186,   tel. 3634086,

     Saikat Chatterjee,
                      ZG 192,   tel. 3638689,


The lecture schedule will be:
      Tuesday      11:00-13:00       hoorcollege/lecture               Kapteynborg 5419 - 245

      Thursday     13:00-15:00       hoorcollege/lecture              Kapteynborg 5419 - 161

      Monday       15:00-17:00       tutorial                                 Kapteynborg 5419 - 230     


First lecture will be on monday November 14, the first tutorial on tuesday November 15

November 15: tutorial/werkcollege: due to an unfortunate writing mistake, confusion on the time of the tutorial meant we showed up at 13:00 instead of 11:00. Mistake is entirely mine (Rien). In the meantime it has been ccrrected on this webpage. Saikat and i will try to find a means to planning an extra tutorial. I will also discuss this at thursdays lecture. Again, my sincerest apologies.

starting thursday Nov. 24: Thursday lecture room ZG161 (Kapteynborg, Kapteyn Astron. Institute)

starting Monday Nov. 28: tutorial lecture, Monday 15:00-17:00
Monday Nov. 28: instead of tutorial this will be a regular lecture, given thursday Dec. 1 there will be no lectures.
Thursday December 8:     posting list of special presentation topics
Thursday December 15:    
    Because of the Kastanjeborrel (for which ZG161 will be a venue), the lecture room on thursday Dec. 15 is:
    Kapteynborg, 519.0114

Thursday January 19 (13:00-15:00):     Presentations on special topic, 1st session
   Thursday February 2 (13:00-15:00):     Presentations on special topic, 2nd session
Thursday January 26 (14:00-17:00):     Tentamen/Exam, room 5161.0165 (Bernoulliborg)

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 26, 2017: 14:00-17:00

      presentation special topic -- January 19, 2017/February 2, 2017 (13:00-15:00)

      2 computer tasks

Course practicalities:

      Course Practicalities           ppt
         Course Practicalities          pdf


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)

Interesting Scientific Publications

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

          BBKS           Bardeen, Bond, Kaiser & Szalay 1986, Gaussian Random Fields

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          pdf

         study thoroughly: basic to understanding of the course

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

         study thoroughly, overview of course material

        Gravitational Instability: outline & overview                     pdf; hand-written notes

         read thoroughly

      Gravitational Instability & 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

      Cosmic Flows           pptx
         Cosmic Flows          pdf

          Read thoroughly.

      Modes Primordial Fluctuations                                         pdf, hand-written notes
           Jeans Instability, Jeans Mass & Cosmic Mass Scales       pdf, hand-written notes

         Fluctuation 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.

      Random Fields & Power Spectrum           pptx
         Random Fields & Power Spectrum          pdf
         Gaussian Random Fields                        hand-written notes

         "Starting Conditions" cosmic structure formation

         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).

      Going nonlinear                      pdf

         Exam material:
         Zel'dovich approximation
         Not exam material: Lagrangian Perturbation Theory (sect. 3: but good to read), Spherical Model, Ellipsoidal Model;
         also skip sect. 4.2, 4.3
         Know by heart: Zel'dovich, eqn. 31, 36, 49, 50, 52, 54, 63, 64, 71.

      Structure Formation and Evolution: Zeldovich & Adhesion formalism           pptx
         Structure Formation and Evolution: Zeldovich & Adhesion formalism          pdf

         Exam material: study thoroughly
         Zel'dovich approximation

      Structure Formation and Evolution: Nbody simulations           pptx
         Structure Formation and Evolution: Nbody simulations          pdf

          Read thoroughly.

      Large Scale Structure Galaxy Surveys           pptx
         Large Scale Structure Galaxy Surveys          pdf

         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 DEPTH, survey strategies, photometric redshifts, magnitude- and volume-limited surveys, REDSHIFT SPACE DISTORTIONS ...

      Statistical Measures of Large Scale Structure      pptx
         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)

      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).

Large Scale Structure movies

It is highly instructive to study the following movies:


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, within 1 week after the tutorial class. Please turn them in to your tutor (ie. Saikat) !

      Werkcollege 1:      FRW cosmology           

      Werkcollege 2:      Cosmological Fluid equations, physical & comoving           

      Werkcollege 3:      Perturbation equations: coupled & Lagrangian           

      Werkcollege 4:      Gaussian random fields (computer assignment)           

      Werkcollege 5:      (Stochastic) random fields & Fourier Description           

      Werkcollege 6:      Spherical (collapse/expansion) model           

      Werkcollege 7:      Point Processes & Correlation Functions (computer assignment)          

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).

The special topics and presentations should be done in groups of two. In order to avoid overlap, inform the lecturer by email of 1) your names & 2) the topic. In case of overlap with the topic chosen by another group, we may ask you to chose another topics. Send this information before the end of week 50 (ie. at the latest on saturday Dec. 16).

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

      Presentation Topics                                      pdf

The presentations will be on:
thursday January 19       13:00-15:00       ZG161
thursday February 2       13:00-15:00       ZG161

      Presentation Schedule                                      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 !


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.

Lecture Schedule:
(provisional, changes possible)

Subject HoorcollegeDates
Subject Werkcollege
1 November 14 (c)

November 17 (c)
Introduction: Cosmic Inventory:
Large Scale Structure & Cosmic Structure Formation
Galaxies, Groups, Clusters, Superclusters, IGM
Cosmic Structure Formation
Primordial Fluctuations & the Cosmic Microwave Background

Basic Cosmology:
Einstein Field Equation,
Cosmological Principle, Robertson-Walker metric,
Redshift, Cosmic Distances
Friedman Equations
Cosmic Epochs
November 15 (w) FRW Cosmology
FRW universe solutions
Observational Cosmology
2 November 21 (c)

November 23 (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 22 (w)

Perturbation Theory
Growth Factors
3 November 28 (c)

December 1 (c)
Random Density & Velocity Fields
Multidimensional Gaussian distributions
Power Spectrum
Random Fields & Power Spectrum

Nonlinear Clustering & Structure Formation
Hierarchical Clustering,
Anisotropic Collapse and the Formation of Voids
Spherical Model, Ellipsoidal Model
November 29 (w)

Perturbation Theory
Growth Factors
4 December 5 (c)

December 8 (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 6(w) Spherical Collapse & Model
5 December 12 (c)

December 15 (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 13 (w)Power Spectrum &
Spherical Model
6 December 19 (c)

December 22 (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 20 (w)Two-point correlation function
(computer task)
7 January 9 (c)

January 12 (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 10 (w)Press-Schechter Formalism
& Halo Mass Functions
8 January 16 (c)

January 19 (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 17 (w)N-body Simulations
(computer task)