PHYS 4980 Galaxies and Cosmology

Course Description:
This class provides an overview of galaxies and cosmology. This course covers the current standard model of the universe, and the formation, evolution and the properties of galaxies. More specifically, this course will help students gain a deeper understanding of the following topics: modern cosmology and its history; basics of general relativity; cosmological models; the distance ladder; the age of the universe and the universal expansion; Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB); early universe and the big-bang nucleosynthesis; the contents of the universe— baryons, dark matter, and dark energy; structure formation of the universe; galaxies: morphology, structure, kinematics, stellar populations, spectra; galaxies: space distribution, luminosity function, mass function; galaxies: formation and evolution; galaxy clusters; supermassive black holes and their roles in galaxy evolution.

One year each of college-level calculus and physics, and PHYS 3010 Modern Physics, or permission of the instructors is required.

Intended Audience:
This course is geared towards advanced undergraduate students.

Required Textbooks:
There is no required textbook for this course. The course presentations, handouts and assigned readings will be provided on the course website.

Suggested Textbooks:
“Introduction to Astrophysics” by Bradley Carroll and Dale Ostlie (ISBN: 0805304029)
“Principles of Physical Cosmology” by P.J.E. Peebles (ISBN: 0691019339)
“Galaxies in the Universe: An Introduction” by Linda S. Sparke (ISBN: 0521671868)
“Cosmology” by Steven Weinberg (ISBN: 0198526822)
“Modern Cosmology” by Scott Dodelson and Fabian Schmidt (ISBN: 0122191412)
“The physical universe: an introduction to astronomy” by Frank Shu (ISBN: 0935702059)
“Cosmological Physics” by J.A. Peacock (ISBN: 0521422701)
“Introduction to Cosmology” by Barbara Ryden (ISBN: 0805389121)