Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
University of Chicago

Group Contact CV SnapShots
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
Intro to Cosmology [243] 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]

Basic Principles

Key Concepts

As cosmologists, the main paradigms we work under are known (rather inapproprately) as the big-bang model for the global evolution of the universe and the gravitational instability paragdigm for the formation of objects or structure in the universe.

The big bang model says that the universe began hot and dense but is expanding and cooling.

The gravitational instability models says: we know large masses like the earth attract, for example by the fact that you remain on the surface of the earth rather than flung off of it as it spins, like water off a wet dog. Even a small mass attracts, so that small ripples in the mass density early on in the history of the universe can grow into the galaxies we see today in the night sky.