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Lectures can be downloaded as Powerpoint or pdf files from the syllabus below. The pdf files are in handout format with three slides per sheet plus space for note taking.

Each lecture has an associated example exam question, with hints and answers. These can be found on the coursework page, which also lists the relevant practice problems and sections from the recommended textbooks.

There are also some video revision lectures (mp4 format): to download these, scroll down to the bottom of the page.


Part 1: Historical Introduction

Lecture 1: Early cosmology (ppt) (pdf)
Basic concepts; early ideas; Newtonian cosmology; Olbers' paradox
Lecture 2: Relativity (ppt) (pdf)
Relativity and Maxwell's electromagnetism; the Michelson-Morley experiment; principles of special relativity; the Lorentz transformation; the light cone; principles of general relativity; the equivalence principle
Lecture 3: Curved spacetime (ppt) (pdf)
2D curved spacetimes; Robertson-Walker metric; cosmological redshift

Part 2: Relativistic Cosmology

Lecture 4: Relativistic cosmological models (ppt) (pdf)
Newtonian derivation of the Friedmann equation; curvature and the density parameter Omega (Ω); behaviour of Universe for Ω > 1, = 1, < 1; cosmological constant Lambda (Λ); fluid equation; acceleration equation; equation of state
Lecture 5: Single component models (ppt) (pdf)
Proper distance and horizon distance; single component cosmological models (radiation, matter, curvature, Λ); multi-component universes

Part 3: 20th Century Cosmology

Lecture 6: Hubble's law (ppt) (pdf)
Discovery (Hubble 1929); systematic errors and Hubble's law; Cepheids and W Vir stars; period-luminosity relations; brightest stars and H II regions; "Hubble Wars"; tired light
Lecture 7: Astrophysics and cosmological modelling (ppt) (pdf)
Milne cosmology; Hot Big Bang (αβγ); Steady State (Bondi, Gold and Hoyle); stellar nucleosynthesis; testing steady state model; alternative models
Lecture 8: Triumph of the Hot Big Bang (ppt) (pdf)
Production of cosmic microwave background in hot big bang; non-production (as blackbody) in steady state; pre-discovery observation; discovery by Penzias and Wilson; establishment of blackbody spectrum; discovery of anisotropies; big bang nucleosynthesis and baryon density
Lecture 9: Inflation (ppt) (pdf)
Horizon, flatness and monopole problems of standard Hot Big Bang; inflation as a solution to these problems; estimate of amount of inflation required; particle physics and how to power inflation; inflation and structure growth.

Part 4: Case Studies in Modern Cosmology

Lecture 10: The Hubble Constant, part 1 (ppt) (pdf)
Distance scale for measuring H0; calibration requirements; Cepheid variables; using Cepheids for calibration; the distance of the LMC
Lecture 11: The Hubble Constant, part 2 (ppt) (pdf)
Extragalactic distance indicators; results from HST Key Project; results from independent distance indicators; conclusions
Lecture 12: Type Ia supernovae and the cosmological constant, part 1 (ppt) (pdf)
Distances at large z: proper distance, luminosity distance and angular diameter distance. Parametrising deviations from the Hubble law: the deceleration parameter q0
Lecture 13: Type Ia supernovae and the cosmological constant, part 2 (ppt) (pdf)
Type Ia supernovae: what they are, their properties, and their use as a long range distance indicator. Results from Type Ia supernovae: Supernova Cosmology Project, High Z Supernova Search, and HST.
Lecture 14: More about the cosmological constant (ppt) (pdf)
Other observational evidence: statistics of gravitational lensing, X-ray observations of galaxy clusters. Significance of positive Λ.
Lecture 15: Growth of Structure, part 1 (ppt) (pdf)
Behaviour of a small density perturbation in radiation-dominated, matter-dominated, and Λ-dominated universe; Jeans mass and its significance; hot and cold dark matter.
Lecture 16: Growth of Structure, part 2 (ppt) (pdf)
Use of simulations in modelling large-scale structure; probing large-scale structure with Lyman alpha and galaxy surveys; how to analyse maps of large-scale structure using Fourier techniques.
Lecture 17: Cosmic Microwave Background, part 1 (ppt) (pdf)
Expectations: position of first peak, ratio between odd and even peaks. Brief survey of experiments from COBE to WMAP.
Lecture 18: Cosmic Microwave Background, part 2 (ppt) (pdf)
Summary of WMAP analysis: sky coverage and resolution, minimisation of instrumental noise, foreground subtraction. Results of different fits. Consistency with other data. Summary and conclusions.

Revision Lectures

These are mp4 video files. They are quite large (0.2 to 0.6 GB), so they may take some time to download. Please be patient!