Office: RLM 16.204
Phone: (512) 471-9422
Course Description (
Padmanabhan, T. 2002, Galaxies and Cosmology
(Course in Theoretical Astrophysics, Vol. III) (Cambridge Univ. Press)
(1) Problem sets will be assigned.
(2) One end-of-semester student lecture on a topic selected in consultation
with the professor, with lecture notes handed in.
Course grade will be based upon the problem sets
and student talk/lecture notes.
Suitable for all beginning or advanced graduate students in astronomy
or physics. Previous course in cosmology not required. Students who have
taken AST 396C (PHY 396T) "Elements of Cosmology" or its equivalent
or plan to do so in the future will find this course a useful complement.
Our universe at large is well-described, on average, by the standard Big Bang
model of cosmology, in which a homogeneous distribution of mass-energy expands
uniformly and isotropically from an initial space-time singularity, in accordance
with the expectations of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Shortly after its
birth, our observable universe was extraordinarily smooth on all scales. Today,
however, it is highly structured, populated by galaxies, clusters, and superclusters
of galaxies surrounded by huge regions devoid of galaxies, with most of the volume
permeated by a clumpy intergalactic medium of diffuse gas. How this cosmic
structure arose over the last 14 billion years from an otherwise smooth, featureless
beginning at the initial moment of the Big Bang will be the subject of this course.