Talks and Notes
Introduction to Cosmology
This is an introductory 4-th year undergraduate and masters level course (taught 2013 and 2014), covering:
No knowledge of General Relativity is assumed. Previous knowledge of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics would be an advantage, but the presentation is fairly self-contained.
- Observations and the Copernican principle
- Expansion and Hubble law
- Homogeneity, isotropy and the FRW model
- Redshift and cosmological distances
- Friedmann and energy conservation equations, fluid density evolution
- Critical density, geometry, evolution and age of the universe
- Matter content, dark matter and dark energy
- Thermal equilibrium, CMB blackbody, statistical mechanics
- Thermal history, electron-positron annihilation, recombination, nucleosynthesis
- Problems with the hot big bang
- Qualitative discussion of inflation, initial conditions, structure formation and cosmological constraints
The course is self contained but is followed by Early Universe (covering general material at a more advanced level using GR, plus details of inflation, non-thermal evolution and structure formation).
Preliminary course notes are available, but may well be updated as the course proceeds (don't print it all out at the beginning!):
Past exam questions:
There are several other good books, but most (like the last one above) are more advanced and assume some General Relativity.
Let me know if you come across other good references.
You might also find these other online notes helpful