Advanced Physical Cosmology (APC | INU7056U)

Description: The aim of the course is to provide an advanced level exposition of modern theoretical and observational cosmology, building upon the foundations provided by the third year course PHAS3136. The emphasis will be on developing physical understanding rather than on mathematical principles.
Over the past two decades, cosmology has made dramatic advances. A flood of data has transformed our understanding of the basic parameters of the universe -- the expansion rate, the densities of various types of energy and the nature of the primordial density variations. The basic Big Bang picture, underpinned by General Relativity, continues to hold good, explaining the expansion of the universe, the cosmic microwave background radiation, the synthesis of light chemical elements and the formation of stars, galaxies and large-scale structures. However, there are important gaps in our understanding including the nature of the dark matter, the cause of the observed late-time acceleration of the universe and the classic puzzles of the initial singularity and what caused the Big Bang.
This course will develop the standard Big Bang cosmology and review its major successes and some of the challenges now faced at the cutting-edge of the field.
After the completion of this course, students will have an appreciation of the basic theoretical foundations of physical cosmology, as well as an advanced understanding of the physics of several observational results critical to our current picture of the Universe.

Year: 4 | Semester: B | Level: 7 | Credits: 15

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