Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
University of Chicago

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CMB Introduction '96   Intermediate '01   Polarization Intro '01   Cosmic Symphony '04   Polarization Primer '97   Review '02   Power Animations   Lensing   Power Prehistory   Legacy Material '96   PhD Thesis '95 Baryon Acoustic Oscillations Cosmic Shear Clusters
Transfer Function WMAP Likelihood Reionization PPF for CAMB Halo Mass Conversion Cluster Abundance
Cosmology I [legacy 321] Cosmology II [321] Current Topics [282] Galaxies and Universe [242] Radiative Processes [305] Research Preparation [307] GR Perturbation Theory [408] CMB [448] Cosmic Acceleration [449]


Astro 321
TTh 4:30-5:50 AAC 107
First Meeting: 3/29

This course will have its focus on structure formation in cosmology.  I also expect that you are comfortable with programming in your language of choice.  

The main textbook for this course is Peacock: Cosmological Physics, Cambridge 1999 and is generally available in any good book store.

Peacock is a very, sometimes frustratingly, broad book and so for more detail on the various subjects the following references may be helpful

  • Weinberg: Gravitation and Cosmology (GR and believe it or not, distance measures)
  • Kolb & Turner: Early Universe (kinetic theory)
  • Liddle & Lyth: Cosmological Inflation and Large-Scale Structure (inflationary perturbation theory),
  • Dodelson: Modern Cosmology (CMB and large scale structure)
  • Padmanabhan:  Structure Formation in the Universe. (non-linear collapse)


    There will be weekly problem sets and a final project

    For a final project you may work in groups of <5 people on any of the following

        (a) Core of a Particle Mesh N-Body code.
        (b) Core of a Einstein-Boltzmann (linear theory) code.
        (c) Core of a Halo Model (dark matter power spectrum, galaxy occupation) code.

    The preferred method of submission of the final project is to present it as a web page.  Previous year's examples

    Problem Sets

    Problem Set 1: Due April 7
    Problem Set 2: Due April 14
    Problem Set 3: Due April 21
    Problem Set 4: Due April 28
    Problem Set 5: Due May 8 (in my LASR mailbox)

    Final Project Preparation

    The following problems sets takes you through the minimum requirements for the final project for the various groups. They also contain suggestions for extensions for extra credit.

    Inflation groups:
    Problem Set 1
    Problem Set 2
    Problem Set 3 (final goals described)

    Boltzmannn groups:
    Problem Set 1
    Problem Set 2
    Problem Set 3
    Problem Set 4 (final goals described)

    N-body groups:
    Andrey Kravtsov's Notes

    Halo model groups:
    Problem Set 1 (some typos corrected 6/1)
    Problem Set 2
    Problem Set 3
    Problem Set 4 (final goals described; typos corrected 5/31)

    Lecture Notes

    Lecture notes may be updated as we go through the course - so you may want to only download those for the current week.

    Week 1:

        Friedmann Robertson Walker (FRW) Cosmology: P-Ch-3 & 5
        Lecture Notes 1

    Week 2:

        Matter in the Universe: P-Ch-12
        Kinetic theory in an expanding universe: P-Ch-9
        Lecture Notes 2

    Week 3:

        Inhomogeneous fields and linear perturbation theory: P-Ch-15.1-15.6; P-Ch-16.1-16.3
        Lecture Notes 3

    Week 4:

        Inflationary Cosmology: P-Ch-11
        Lecture Notes 4

    Week 5:

        Cosmic Microwave Background: P-Ch-18
        Lecture Notes 5

    Week 6:

        Large Scale Structure  P-Ch-15.X
        Lecture Notes 6

    Week 7:

        Spherical collapse and mass functions:  P-Ch-15.7-8;  16.4; 17.2
        Lecture Notes 7

    Week 8:

        Bias and the halo model:  P-Ch-15.7-8;  16.4; 17.2
        Lecture Notes 8