kamion AT pha.jhu.edu
Class times: Mon,Wed, 3:00-4:15pm in Bloomberg 278 (Mondays) and 259 (Wednesdays)
Class description: This will be a class focused primarily on the theory of cosmological perturbations. The goal will be understand how we quantify departures from the pure homogeneity assumed in the standard cosmological model, how they evolve, how they are used for cosmological tests, and what their possible origins in the early Universe may be.
Prerequisites: Basic undergraduate
physics and curiosity. It is assumed that students have
had some introduction to general relativity and also some
introduction to the standard cosmological model.
Homework: There will be problem sets
assigned every week. It is important for you to work
through these problem sets if you aim to be a professional
cosmologist. Some of the problem sets may be long and/or
difficult. I make them that way so that those who plan to
make a living working in cosmology have plenty to keep them
busy. If you find that the problem sets are too long
and/or that you have other classes or research that are a higher
priority for you, then try to work through at least a few
problems each week. Completion of all the homeworks will
be required to pass this class.
homework and 25% final exam.
Some possibly useful books:
Note: There are lots of good books on cosmology or various
aspects, but this class will not follow any individual book.
I am therefore reluctant to "require" any particular book or to
suggest that you buy any in particular. These are all books
worth owning, although which of these you choose to buy may depend
on your particular interests. My guess is that the
presentation will follow Weinberg more closely than other books.
Principles of Physical Cosmology
(P. J. E. Peebles): The discussion of classical cosmological
tests is particularly nice. The second half of the book has
excellent plain-English discussions of a variety of subjects in
physical cosmology (where I first learned a lot of these
Galaxy Formation (M. S. Longair): This book works well as a textbook that focuses primarily on large-scale structure and galaxy formation
Cosmological Physics (J. Peacock): This book is also particularly strong in large-scale structure and galaxy formation
The Early Universe (E. W.
Kolb and M. S. Turner): This is a classic, although a bit
out of date. The discussions of relic particles and big-bang
nucleosynthesis are particularly nice (and where I learned much of
Modern Cosmology (S.
Dodelson): This is an excellent book that focuses
primarily on the physics of cosmic microwave background
This is a great book that goes into great detail in a number of
areas. It can get dense, but no steps are skipped.
Physical Foundations of Cosmology
(Mukhanov): Many students like the discussion of inflation
and primordial perturbations.
Inflation and String
Theory (Baumann and McAllister) is recommended very highly
by a number of recent cosmology students, although the string
aspects covered in the book are probably not going to be discussed
much in this class. The earlier TASI lectures (https://arxiv.org/pdf/0907.5424v2.pdf)
by Baumann are also recommended.
SYLLABUS AND READING ASSIGNMENTS
NOTES (Note that these are provided with no guarantees; they are not proofread very carefully, and mistakes have certainly crept in, there may be omissions, etc. Use at your own risk!):
Week 1Week 2
Week 7 (will use Lecture 2 and Appendix B in arXiv:0907.5424)
Week 8 (follows Ch. 6 in Weinberg's cosmology book)
(updated/corrected 12 April '17) and Yacine's CMB polarization notes
Problem Set 1 (due first class of week 2)Problem Set 2 (due first class of week 3)
Last updated 4/26/2017