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

Undergraduate Course: Advanced Cosmology (PHYS11035)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 5 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course is intended to present the current understanding of some of the main topics in cosmology, at a sufficiently high level that it allows a contact with the research literature. The focus will be on the development of structure in the universe, and how this can be related to cosmological initial conditions and exotic physical processes that operate at early times and energies. The course will be self-contained, but builds on the material covered in Astrophysical Cosmology; prior attendance at this course is strongly recommended.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Astrophysical Cosmology (PHYS10024)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Cosmology (PHYS10101)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2014/15 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) 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, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 74 )
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)Advanced Cosmology2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
(1) Be able to calculate the ionization history of the universe, and understand why this is a non-equilibrium process
(2) Be able to calculate the relic abundance of elementary particles
(3) Understand how the abundance of light elements can be used to measure the density of baryonic matter
(4) Understand how a scalar field can yield a pressure and density for the vacuum
(5) Apply this concept to discuss in detail inflationary models for the start of the expanding universe
(6) Be able to calculate the spectrum of density perturbations that is seeded by quantum fluctuations during inflation
(7) Be able to derive and solve the differential equations describing the growth of these fluctuations
(8) Understand the dependence of the late-time density power spectrum on cosmological parameters
(9) Know the mechanisms that generate anisotropies in the microwave background, and be able to calculate these in the fluid limit
(10) Explain qualitatively the contribution of primordial
gravity waves to these anisotopies
(11) Calculate the gravitational lens effect of an arbitrary mass distribution, and understand how this is used to probe the large-scale density field
(12) Be able to discuss the main physical processes of importance in galaxy formation
(13) Formulate Bayesian reasoning concerning the impact of observational selection on cosmological observables.
Assessment Information
Degree Examination, 100%
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserProf Andrew Liddle
Tel: 0131 668 8352
Course secretaryMiss Paula Wilkie
Tel: (0131) 668 8403
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