Astronomy/Physics 228
Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology
(Spring 2012)

Equation sheet (Warning: Use them at your own risk. Marked drowsiness may occur.)

Problem Set 7 (due in class Wed Apr 18)
Reading: Ch 6 of Dodelson

Problem Set 6 (due 5pm Fri Apr 6)
Reading: Ch 4 and 8.1-8.3 of Dodelson

Problem Set 5 (due 5pm Fri Mar 16)
Reading: (1) Dark Matter Review; (2) Ch 7.1 of Dodelson

Problem Set 4 (due 5pm Fri Mar 2)
Reading: (1) Chapter 3 of Dodelson; (2) Sec 19.3 (pages 12-19) of Big Bang Cosmology; (3) Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

Problem Set 3 (due 5pm Fri Feb 17)
Reading: (1) Chapter 2 of Dodelson; (2) Sec 19.2 (pages 7-11) of Big Bang Cosmology

Problem Set 2 (due 5pm Fri Feb 10)
from Tables 1 and 5 of Riess et al. (2004) .
Reading: Riess et al. (1998), Perlmutter et al. (1999).

Reading: (1)Sec 13.1-13.4 of BT


Guidelines for in-class presentations
The purpose of the in-class presentations is to give you a chance to investigate in some depth a current research topic in cosmology, using the knowledge you have gained in class. This exercise is important because, unlike the standard physics courses (e.g. EM, quantum, stat mech), cosmology is a rapidly progressing subject that is filled with new (and sometimes wrong) research results and opportunities. Hopefully you will get a taste of the excitement in this research field. You will also get to practice giving oral presentations, an integral part of most scientists' research activities.

Presentations: Each talk is 15 minutes. The audience is your classmates, so pedagogy is important. All of the topics below are broad and have consumed many professional astro/physicists' lives. Use your 15 minutes as if you were a professor recruiting your classmates to work on your topic. Focus on questions such as: Why is it important (or is it)? How is it done? What have we learned? What to expect next? I am happy to link to your presentation slides so interested students can look at it in more details later.

For several topics, I have discussed the theoretical background at length in class. Here you should spend only one slide reviewing it and then jump into the observations and phenomenology. For other topics, you should aim for a balance in theory and results. Within this framework, you have the freedom to design your talk. The linked references are only meant to get you started. You should explore beyond it, read a lot, learn a lot, and extract the essential points to present to the class. I will meet with each of you the week before the presentation date to go over your talk outline. Have fun!

Presentation Topics

Ken McElvain (March 14): Mapping dark matter using strong gravitational lensing
Lecture notes by Narayan and Bartelmann
Current list of multiply-lensed systems: CASTLES
CLASS lensing survey
River Snively (March 14): Mapping dark matter using weak gravitational lensing
Lecture notes on weak lensing by Schneider
Lecture notes by Narayan and Bartelmann
Todd Doughty (March 19): Cold dark matter: how to find them?
Review article on dark matter
Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) Experiment website
EDELWEISS Experiment website
DAMA Experiment website
Gamma-ray telescope and dark matter annihilations: Fermi Satellite
Io Kleiser (April 2): Hot dark matter: massive neutrinos; neutrinos from supernovae
2002 Nobel Prize to Davis and Koshiba
Review article on neutrino mass and oscillations
John Bahcall's neutrino website
Underground experiments: SuperKamiokande, Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO)
SNEWS: The SuperNova Early Warning System
Lauren Weiss (April 4): CMB: primary anisotropy measurements
WMAP website
Nick Hand (April 4): Reionization: how do the first stars and galaxies reionize the neutral hydrogen and how to detect it?
Short review by Madau: "The Era of Reionization"
Sedona Price (April 9): Galaxy surveys: Baryon acoustic oscillations
Eisenstein's info page
Nikhil Anand (April 9): Galaxy surveys: what have we learned from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey? Future surveys. Non-Gaussianity.
Sloan Survey
Nathan Roth (April 11): Cosmological Simulations: N-body and hydrodynamics; feedback processes
Review by Bertschinger (1998): Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 36, 599
MPA Numerical Cosmology
Dyas Utomo (April 11): Supermassive black holes at centers of galaxies
Summary of observational evide nce for a supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center by Ghez
Record-breaking monsters and latest data compilation by our own team
Summary of SMBH-galaxy formation by Haehnelt
Pierre Christian (April 16):Gravity waves: What sources produce them? Binary black holes
Begelman et al (1980): Supermassive black hole Binaries
Summary of observational evidence for supermassive black hole binaries by Komossa
Gravity wave predictions by Wyithe and Loeb: "Low-Frequency Gravitational Waves from Massive Black Hole Binaries: Predictions for LISA and Pulsar Timing Arrays"
Isaac Shivvers (April 16): Gravity waves: How to detect them?

Instructor: Chung-Pei Ma
Office: Hearst Field Annex C11
Email: cpma(at)

Grader: Jackson DeBuhr
Office: Hearst Field Annex CNN
Email: debuhj(at)

Lectures: MW 2:30-4pm; HFA B1

Office Hours: Chung-Pei: Mon 4-5pm in HFA B1; Jackson: Tue 3-4pm in HFA B26

Main Text:

Scott Dodelson "Modern Cosmology" (Academic Press 2003; QB981.D634)
Errata to Dodelson's textbook : Let me know if you catch any.
Supplementary Texts:
P. Schneider "Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology" (Springer 2006)
J. A. Peacock "Cosmological Physics" (Cambridge University Press 1999; QB981.P37)
A. R. Liddle and D. Lyth "Cosmological Inflation and Large Scale Structure" (Cambridge University Press 2000; QB991.I54L53)
50% Problem Sets; 25% Exam; 25% In-class report

Course Content:

1. The Smooth Universe: the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker Model
1.1 The Cosmological Principle; Hubble parameter H; scale factor a
1.2 Friedmann equation; equation of state; radiation, matter, dark energy
1.3 Density parameter Omega; open, flat, closed models
1.4 Time evolution of H, Omega, and a
1.5 Rudiments of general relativity; the Robertson-Walker metric
1.6 Kinematic properties: distance-redshift, time-redshift, age, angular size

2. The Bright Side: Thermal History/Big Bang Nucleosynthesis
2.1 The Planck mass; the ugliest number in physics
2.2 Thermodynamics of Fermi and Bose gases in an expanding universe
2.3 The first 3 minutes in 5.5 frames
2.4 Light elemental abundance: helium, deuterium, lithium, baryon-to-photon ratio

3. The Dark Side
3.1 Evidence for dark matter
3.2 Evidence for dark energy
3.3 Two dark matter problems: baryonic vs. non-baryonic
3.4 Dark Matter: cold, warm, hot. What is it? Current experimental searches

4. The Lumpy Universe: Structure Formation Theory
4.1 Gravitational instability in a static universe
4.2 Gravitational instability in an expanding universe
4.3 Time evolution of density and velocity fields; baryonic Jeans mass
4.4 Full linear perturbation theory: general relativistic and Boltzmann approach
4.5 Photon-baryon coupling; fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background
4.6 Statistics of perturbation fields: power spectrum, correlation functions, non-Gaussianity
4.7 Nonlinear gravitational collapse: analytical approximations; numerical simulations

5. Very Early Universe
5.1 Successes and problems of the standard Big Bang model
5.2 Phase transitions: scalar fields; equations of motion
5.3 Inflation: slow-roll; reheating; quantum fluctuations; the Harrison-Zeldovich spectrum

6. Selected Topics (student projects)
See above

April 2012