Physics 217bc: The Standard Model - Cosmology.

This is the second half of a full-year course in the Standard Model of elementary particle physics and cosmology. The first half of the course is taught by Mark Wise and covers particle physics. The second half will cover cosmology and is taught by Chris Hirata. The two halves of the course may be taken separately.

The cosmology part of the course covers the standard cosmological model including both the homogeneous Univese and perturbation theory, and the major observational tests.

Location: 269 Lauristen, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30-4:00 PM. The first lecture of the cosmology segment is Tuesday, February 5.


We will resume at the regular time on Thursday, May 16.

Instructor: Chris Hirata, 128 Bridge,
TA: Jie Yang, 441 Lauritsen,; Office hours Tuesday 8-10pm.
Textbook: Modern Cosmology by Scott Dodelson (2003). (The book's homepage is here.)

Prerequisites: The cosmology portion of the course will require knowledge of standard undergraduate physics (mechanics, electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics) and general relativity. The GR used will be at the level of e.g. Schutz. Students taking the Ph 236 sequence concurrently should be well prepared. No prior knowledge of quantum field theory is required. The course will not assume any prior coursework in astronomy or cosmology.
Homework: There will be 4 homework sets during the b term. (Homework #5 is cancelled.) Homeworks for the c term:
Topics: In general, the winter term will cover homogeneous Universe topics and the spring term will focus on the inhomogeneities and perturbations in the Universe. Due to the number of lectures in each term we may start perturbation theory during the last week of winter term. I will try to introduce each cosmological test as soon as we have developed the required machinery. Note that some topics will be covered in more detail than in Dodelson, while others will receive less attention or even be omitted (this breaks my heart but we can't do everything in 1.5 terms). Some topics may be added or deleted due to time constraint and/or class input.

Click on each topic for lecture notes.

Homogeneous Universe:

Perturbation theory:

Beyond perturbation theory: