Cosmology: Course webpage

Teacher: Prof. Dr. Saleem Zaroubi
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
Room 141, Tel: 3634055

Teaching assistants: Asa Skuladottir and Rosina Bertelsen
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
Room 153 and 199b, Tel: 3634063 and 3634090
Email: and

Aim of Course

This course treats the global structure and evolution of the Universe, mainly in the frame-work of the `standard' Friedmann-Robertson-Walker and the Hot Big Bang theory. This course is also a basis for the courses Large Scale Structure in the Universe and Formation and Evolution of Galaxies. The course does not assume prior knowledge of General Relativity. Specific subjects that are taught include:

  1. The cosmological priciple, the expanding universe and Friedmann-Robertson-Walker models. Friedmann's Equation (derived from Newtonian mechanics) and its solutions. Classical cosmological tests, cosmological distances, volumes, source counts etc.
  2. Determination of cosmological constants: Hubble parameter, cosmic density parameter and cosmological constant.
  3. `Standard' thermodynamical history of the Hot Big Bang:
    (i) primordial nucleosynthesis and the formation of light elements
    (ii) origin and thermal character of the microwave background radiation.
  4. The very early universe, elementary particles, baryonsynthese etc.
  5. Cosmic inflation: the horizon problem, the flatness problem, monopoles, cosmic phase transitions and the inflation paradigm.

Course Material: The lecture slides (with relatively extensive text) are provided. These slides will broadly follow the course book but will once in a while deviate from it. Click here to download Lectures PDF, and here for notes on Structure Formation)

Course Book: Introduction to Cosmology, Barbara Ryden, Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Additional Reading:
1 - Cosmology: The Origin and Evolution of Cosmic Structure by P. Coles and F. Lucchin. Publisher: Wiley, Second Edition.
2 - The Early Universe by E.W. Kolb and M. S. Turner. Publisher: Addison-Wesley.

Grading: The homework assignments are an integral and mandatory part of the course. The student must submit a substantial number of the homework (80%).The final grade will be composed as follows: 20% homework 80% Final exam.

Homework Assignments

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