Caltech
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list 10 sequences
assignment Level : Introductive
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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timer 60 hours in total

About the content

An introduction to the modern extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, the physical universe, big bang, formation and evolution of galaxies, quasars, and large-scale structure.

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Syllabus

The lecture schedule and topics covered by this class are given below. There is no midterm or final for this class, but there are graded quizzes at the end of each week based on lecture material.

Week 1 

Chapter 1: Introduction

  • Cosmology as a science
  • An overview of the modern cosmology and its history
  • Units, fluxes, and magnitudes

Chapter 2: Basics of Relativistic Cosmology

  • Basic concepts of General Relativity
  • Symmetry assumptions: homogeneity and isotropy
  • Metric, Robertson-Walker
  • The cosmological redshift
  • Comoving and proper coordinates
  • Friedmann equation
  • Definitions of cosmological parameters

Week 2 

Chapter 3: Cosmological Models

  • Computing cosmological models
  • Distances in cosmology
  • Basics of cosmological tests
  • The cosmic horizons

Chapter 4: Distance Scale, Age of the Universe, and the Universal Expansion

  • Distance scale and the Hubble constant
  • The age of the universe
  • Tests of the universal expansion

Week 3

Chapter 5: Cosmological Tests

  • Classical cosmological tests and their problems
  • Modern tests (non-CMBR)
  • Tests using CMBR fluctuations

Chapter 6: The hot Big Bang and the Thermal History of the Universe

  • Planck era and beyond
  • Inflation
  • Baryosynthesis
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • Recombination
  • Reionization

Week 4 

Chapter 7: Contents of the Universe

  • Luminous matter, M/L ratios
  • Baryons
  • Dark matters
  • Gravitational lensing
  • Dark energy, cosmological constant and quintessence

Chapter 8: Structure Formation: Theory

  • Density fluctuations, power spectrum, growth, damping
  • Dark matter dependence of cosmogony; Cold Dark Matter
  • Post-recombination growth
  • Collapse of density fluctuations
  • The role of cooling; galaxies vs. clusters and LSS
  • Numerical simulations
  • Galaxy merging

Week 5 

Chapter 9: Observations of Large Scale Structure

  • Measurements of galaxy clustering and LSS
  • Redshift surveys

Chapter 10: Large Scale Structure and Clusters of Galaxies

  • Peculiar motions
  • Evolution of clustering
  • Biasing
  • Galaxy clusters and their properties

Week 6 

Chapter 11: Galaxies, Their Structure and Properties (I)

  • Galaxy catalogs, morphological classification, Hubble sequence
  • Variation of galaxy properties along the Hubble Sequence
  • Stellar populations and galaxian subsystems
  • Galaxy luminosity and mass functions
  • Properties of spiral galaxies, density wave theory

Chapter 12: Galaxies, Their Structure and Properties (II)

  • Properties of elliptical galaxies
  • Supermassive black holes in nearby galaxies
  • Properties of dwarf galaxy families
  • Fundamental correlations, scaling relations, and their uses

Week 7 

Chapter 13: Galaxy Evolution

  • Basic processes of galaxy evolution: merging, stellar pop. modeling
  • Deep surveys (imaging and redshift)
  • Selection effects and obscured star formation
  • Star formation history, assembly of the mass
  • The Olbers paradox
  • Optical/NIR and FIR/sub-mm diffuse backgrounds

Chapter 14: Chemical Evolution, Intergalactic Medium and its Evolution

  • Chemical evolution of galaxies
  • Basic phenomenology of absorbers
  • LyA forest, Lyman limit systems, Damped LyA systems
  • Evolution of IGM and its chemical enrichment
  • Feedback processes and the cosmic web

Week 8 

Chapter 15: Galaxy Formation

  • Basics of galaxy formation
  • The first galaxies and early stages of galaxy evolution
  • Reionization era
  • The first stars
  • The origins of black holes in the early universe

Chapter 16: Quasars and Active Galactic Nuclei: Phenomenology and Physics

  • AGN properties, basics, classification, spectra
  • Supermassive black holes and their fueling
  • Emission mechanisms
  • AGN unification

Week 9 

Chapter 17: Quasars and AGN: Unification, Evolution, High-Energy Backgrounds

  • Jets and beaming
  • Quasar surveys and evolution
  • X-ray, gamma-ray, and AGN-generated backgrounds
  • The origin of first quasars and supermassive black holes
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Intructors

  • S. Djorgovski - Astronomy
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