Astronomy 1Y
Introduction to Cosmology
Dr G. Woan
Room 312, Kelvin Building. 
Starts Wednesday 28 January 2004

Cosmology is the study of the whole Universe: its origins, evolution and eventual fate. It is mostly concerned with the 'big picture', and sacrifices a lot of the fine detail. We will see that the so-called 'Big-Bang' model of the Universe, although based on a number of greatly simplifying assumptions, is nevertheless remarkably successful in describing the overall nature of the Universe from its earliest moments after the Big Bang until the present day.

This is an introductory course, and will be forced to simplify further our discussion of cosmological observations and theories -- deferring a more complete study until the cosmology and general relativity modules in Honours astronomy. Nevertheless, the great success of the Big Bang model should become clear by the end of these lectures.


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Course details

Copies of lecture notes will appear here as the course proceeds. Note that additional material will be provided in the lectures themselves.

Galaxies and their properties Structure of the Milky Way galaxy; rotation curves and dark matter; classification of normal galaxies; active galaxies and quasars (2 lectures)
Large scale structure of the Universe Measuring cosmological distances and redshifts; mapping the Local Group and Local Supercluster; distribution of clusters and superclusters (2 lectures)
The expanding Universe The Hubble expansion; isotropy and homogeneity: the Cosmological Principle; cosmological models: open, closed and flat; weighing the Universe: further evidence for dark matter (4 lectures)
The Early Universe Radiation and matter-dominated eras; the cosmic microwave background radiation; from the CMBR to galaxy formation (2 lectures)

Other handouts

Some Interesting WWW Links relating to Cosmology