Undergraduate Course: Cosmology (PHYS10101)
|School||School of Physics and Astronomy
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This self-contained 10pt Level 10 Semester 2 course is mandatory 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 Astrophysics 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 the abundance of light elements, 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; distances and ages in the Univese
* The distance ladder
* Thermal history of the Universe. Freeze-out.
* Primordial nucleosynthesis
* Recombination and the microwave background
* Dark Matter: observational evidence for its existence and candidates
* Formation of structure
* Problems with the Big Bang. Inflation. Accelerated expansion and dark eneergy.
* Status and future observations.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
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
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- 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
|Ryden: Introduction to Cosmology (Addison Wesley) ISBN: 978-0805389128|
Liddle: An Introduction to Modern Cosmology [2nd edn] (Wiley) ISBN: 978-0-470-84834-0
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Prof Bob Mann
Tel: (0131) 668 8338
|Course secretary||Ms Louise McCarte
Tel: 0131 668 8403