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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Cosmology (PHYS10101)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis self-contained 10pt Level 10 course in S2 has a similar content to the previous Astrophysical Cosmology course. It is a core course for Astrophysics students on both BSc and MPhys programmes, and is available as an option to students on other degree programmes. No prior Astrophysics knowledge is required, although it is intended to link naturally with the 20pt level-10 Astrophsyics course in S1. Taken together, these two courses should provide students with a solid, balanced, physics-based understanding of the structure of our Universe, and our place within space and time.

The course introduces the fundamental concepts of modern cosmology. The meaning of time and space in an expanding universe are discussed, and the dynamics of the expansion, starting from a hot big bang. Observational evidence includes light elements, dark matter, the microwave background, and large scale structure. The initial conditions for the expansion require careful tuning, leading to the theory of inflation. The standard model of cosmology is introduced and elements such as dark matter and dark energy are explained.

* History and basic concepts
* The Robertson-Walker metric
* Light propagation and redshifts
* Dynamics of the Universe
* Observational cosmology
* The distance ladder
* Cosmological geometry and Dark Energy
* Thermal history of the Universe
* Cosmic evolution. Formation and evolution of stars, galaxies and AGN. Re-ionisation history of the Universe
* Dark Matter. Observational evidence. Candidates and freeze-out
* Formation of structure
* Inflation. Problems with the Big Bang.Accelerated expansion. Scalar fields. Structure formation.
* The microwave background
* The Standard Model of Cosmology.Observational evidence. Dark Energy.
* Status and future observations.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Astrophysics (PHYS10102)
Students MUST have passed: ( Modern Physics (PHYS08045) OR Classical and Modern Physics (PHYS08044)) AND Thermal Physics (PHYS09061) AND Fourier Analysis and Statistics (PHYS09055)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2014/15 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 12/01/2015
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 59 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Cosmology2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
* Apply knowledge of core concepts in physics and astrophysics to understand cosmology;
* Formulate solutions to problems in cosmology involving new concepts with limited guidance;
* Demonstrate knowledge of the frontiers of the discipline, for example, through cases where current theories fail to explain a set of observational data;
* Locate and make use of detailed information on current topics in cosmology in the primary research literature;
* Summarise current thinking in cosmology in a variety of written and oral forms, both alone and in collaboration with others.
Assessment Information
100% exam
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Ryden: Introduction to Cosmology (Addison Wesley) ISBN: 978-0805389128
Liddle: An Introduction to Modern Cosmology [2nd edn] (Wiley) ISBN: 978-0-470-84834-0
Roos: Introduction to Cosmology (Wiley) [3rd edn] ISBN: 978-0-470-84910-1
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Bob Mann
Tel: (0131) 668 8338
Course secretaryMiss Paula Wilkie
Tel: (0131) 668 8403
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