AY 127: Cosmology 2012 Spring term
Meets in 219 Cahill Tuesday 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Friday 10:30AM - noon
Profs: Sterl Phinney Chuck Steidel
316 Cahill 388 Cahill
esp [at] tapir.caltech.edu ccs [at] astro.caltech.edu
TA: Sirio Belli
262 Cahill x5804
sirio [at] astro.caltech.edu
"Observational Cosmology", by Stephen Serjeant (Cambridge U. Pr. 2010),
ISBN-10: 0521157153, ISBN-13: 978-0521157155
[Rather light on theory and calculation, but very up-to-date, comprehensive,
well explained and well illustrated in full color].
Supplementary Texts (recommended to get at least one)
To supplement the lack of equations in Serjeant, we recommend that you
choose one of the following, depending on your interests:
A. If your interests are mainly on CMB data analysis:
Scott Dodelson, "Modern Cosmology", 2nd Ed (2003), ISBN-10 0122191412
Errata at http://home.fnal.gov/~dodelson/errata.html
This has a very clear and comprehensive discussion of linear perturbations
and their coupling to the radiation that produce CMB fluctuations.
It does not mention the existence of galaxies.
B. If your interests include not just the CMB, but also the fundamental
physics, and the (beyond-the-standard model) origin of fluctuations,:
Viatcheslav Mukhanov, "Physical Foundations of Cosmology"
(Cambridge U. Pr, 2005) ISBN-10 0521563984
Like Dodelson, does not mention observations, galaxies,
quasars, and other such minor details. Also beware of typos/errors (e.g.
Problem 1.1 is wrong!). Recommended for physicists and the budding theorist.
C. If your interests are mainly in the nonlinear `mudwrestling' phase
of the growth of structure, i.e. the assembly of galaxies, black holes, etc:
Houjun Mo, Frank van den Bosch and Simon White,
"Galaxy Formation and Evolution"
(Cambridge U. Pr, 2010), ISBN-10 0521857937
T Apr 2 [AB] Scope of cosmology, contents of the universe; matter,
dark matter, dark energy, isotropy, homogeneity,
Readings: Serjeant pp 11-23
Readings: Chapter 1 of Dodelson
F Apr 6 [AB] FRW metric, Distance ladder, determination of Hubble
constant, propagation of light, distances 1
Readings: Serjeant pp 105-112
Readings: Sections 1.1-1.3.1 of Mukhanov
Readings: Section 2.1 of Dodelson
T Apr 10 [ESP] Dynamical Friedmann eqn., solutions, cosmological parameters
Readings: Serjeant pp 23-29, 83-87
Readings: Sections 1.3.2-2.4 of Mukhanov
F Apr 13 [ESP] Distances 2: distances 2: angular diameter, luminosity,
proper motion, line-of-sight, Ages, volume elements, horizons.
Readings: Serjeant pp 29-39
Readings: Section 2.5 of Mukhanov
T Apr 17 [ESP] Thermodynamics, thermal history of the universe, equilibrium,
non-equilib freeze-out, pair recombination, neutrino
decoupling, thermal relics
Readings: Serjeant pp 40-49
Readings: Sections 3.1-3.4 of Mukhanov
Readings: Section 3.1 and 3.4 of Dodelson
F Apr 20 [CCS] Big Bang nucleosynthesis, obs tests, baryogenesis,
matter/radiation dominated, H, He recombination
Readings: Serjeant pp 50-52
Readings: Sections 3.5-3.6 of Mukhanov
Readings: Sections 3.2-3.3 of Dodelson
T Apr 24 [CCS] Jeans instability, growth of linear density perturbations,
spherical collapse, Zel'dovich pancakes
Readings: Serjeant pp 120-128
Readings: Chapter 6 of Mukhanov
Readings: Chapter 7 of Dodelson
Readings: Sections 5.1-5.3 of Mo, van den Bosch & White
F Apr 27 [CCS] Halo merger trees, dynamical friction, observational
inferences from CMB, LSS
Readings: Sections 1.4, 5.4-5.6, 6.1-6.6 of Mo,
Readings: Sections 6.1-6.5, 7.3-7.6 and Chapter 12 of
Mo, van den Bosch & White
T May 1 [CCS] Peculiar velocities, correlation functions, power spectra,
Press-Schechter theory, luminosity function
Readings: Serjeant pp 113-118
Readings: Chapter 9 of Dodelson
Readings: Sections 7.1-7.2 of Mo, van den Bosch & White
F May 4 [ESP] CMB fluctuations, power spectra, transfer functions, BAO,
Readings: Serjeant pp 67-82
Readings: Chapter 8 of Dodelson
Readings: Section 6.7 of Mo, van den Bosch & White
T May 8 [ESP] Galaxy clusters, X-ray emission, Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect,
Readings: Serjeant pp 99-105
Readings: Sections 8.1-8.5 and 8.8 of Mo, van den Bosch & White
F May 11 [ESP] Inflation, dynamics, generation of density perturbations
Readings: Serjeant pp 52-6
Readings: Chapter 5 of Mukhanov
Readings: Chapter 6 of Dodelson
T May 15 [CCS] Galaxy formation, tidal torques, angular momentum,
baryon collapse, disk formation
Readings: Serjeant pp 92-99, 154-158
Readings: Sections 11.1-11.4, 13.2 of Mo, van den Bosch & White
F May 18 [CCS] Feedback on galaxy formation from stars, black holes;
galaxy scaling relations (M-sigma, etc.)
Readings: Serjeant pp 183-214
Readings: Sections 8.6, 10.4, 10.5, 14.4 of Mo,
van den Bosch & White
T May 22 [CCS] Where are the baryons? IGM, metals, ionizing background;
Ly alpha forest, reionization of H, He
Readings: Serjeant pp 253-275
Readings: Chapter 16 of Mo, van den Bosch & White
F May 25 [CCS] The obscured universe, star formation and AGN history,
Readings: Serjeant pp159-178
Readings: Sections 14.1-14.3, Chapter 15 of Mo, van den
Bosch & White
T May 29 [ESP] Gravitational Lensing, strong and weak and cosmological
Readings: Serjeant pp 216-252
Readings: Chapter 10 of Dodelson
Readings: Section 6.6 of Mo, van den Bosch & White
F Jun 1 [ESP] The Dark Ages, 21cm cosmology, the first stars
Readings: Serjeant pp 275-278
F Jun 1 Final term paper due in class.
W Jun 6 Final exams due 5pm.
M Jun 11 Grades due 9am
TERM PAPER TOPICS and PAPERS:
TERM PAPER: You will choose a topic from the list below, read
the scientific papers given, work through them,
and write a term paper summarizing your findings and analysis.
- The first stars:
- Black hole feedback on galaxies:
- Reionization: How and When Did it Happen?
- Dark Energy With ''Baryon Acoustic Oscillation'' Surveys
Homework, Grading and collaboration policy
There will be approximately weekly homework sets due in class on
Fridays, a term paper (due June 1) and a closed-book final exam.
Your grade will be a mostly monotonic function of
g = [0.5(sum of homework scores) + 0.2(score of term paper) +
0.3(score on final exam)].
LATE HOMEWORK POLICY: Homework extensions of up to 24 hours can be
granted by the instructors or the TA. Longer extensions can only be
approved by Sterl. No late homework will be accepted unless one of
these prior arrangements has been made. Unapproved late homework will
not be graded.
In working the homework sets, you may consult your own class notes
(which must be written in your own hand from lecture or those of
another student; they may not be xerox or scanned copies), and any
textbooks required or recommended for this class or any other
reference books you find helpful (but please state which you use, if
you do use books which are not the texts). You may also use
calculator or a computer to do numeric and symbolic calculations, or
as a word processor.
At no stage may you look at solutions to the problems you might find
on friend's desks, on websites, filing cabinets, ftp sites, etc. You
may not trade equations, graphs, or look at other people's solution
sets from this or any prior year or similar courses at other
During the closed-book final, you may not consult any texts, computers or
people. You may use a calculator.
Collaboration on the homework is LIMITED to getting unstuck. You
have to do the homework all by yourself. You may consult books and
published papers, but not old assignments or those of other students.
First try every homework problem BY YOURSELF without discussing it
If you get stuck, you can TALK about the homework with the TA or your
fellow students, but all exchanges of information must be aural and
general in nature (i.e. "Did you remember to include Comptonisation"
is ok. "The right answer is V k squared over pi squared" is NOT ok).
After any discussion with others, you must write up your own homework
by yourself, without reference to anyone else's.
In real research, no one else knows the answer to the problems you
work on (otherwise why would you be doing them?), so the most
important thing you can learn from homework is how to think and solve
for yourself, and be confident in your answers.
Other useful books:
Steven. Weinberg, "Cosmology" (Oxford U. Pr 2008), ISBN-10 0198526822
The first half has a nice introduction to the observations, history,
and fundamentals of cosmology. The second half covers the linear growth
of fluctuations (like Dodelson) in a unique way. The book does assume
good familiarity with general relativity. The derivations are complete
Malcom Longair, "Galaxy formation" (Springer, 2nd edition 2008)
ISBN-10: 3540734775. More general than the title: superb coverage of all
of cosmology, with emphasis on the observations and physical understanding,
rather than mathematical rigour.
E.W. Kolb and Michael Turner, "The Early Universe" (A-W 1990), ISBN 0201116030
Getting dated, but the explanations in Chapters 1-5 are superb. Later
chapters are good for the early universe<-->particle physics
connections not emphasised in this class.
P.J.E. Peebles "Principles of Physical Cosmology" (Princeton
1993) ISBN: 0691019339
A classic text, with very complete derivations and
coverage -somewhat too complete to make an good text for a course this
short, but it is a great reference to have. It is particularly good
in its coverage of structure formation, galaxy clustering, cosmological
tests, etc. Contains an introduction to general relativity.
Its predecessor by the same auther "Physical Cosmology" (Princeton 1971)
is much more concise and readable: exceptionally clear, showing
its age in the numbers and observations, but not the physics.
John Peacock "Cosmological Physics" (Cambridge 1998) ISBN: 0521422701
Also a classic text, with concise summaries of the relevant physics,
(GR, gravitational waves, quantum field theory and the standard model)
which many find too condensed to be pedagogical, however.
It is especially good as an introduction to the interface between particle
physics and cosmology, but covers everything else (in less complete fashion