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Coursera - Galaxies and Cosmology + PDF

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Coursera - Galaxies and Cosmology + PDF
Coursera - Galaxies and Cosmology
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Genre: Galaxies and Cosmology | Language: English | PDFs & English Subtitles Included

Galaxies and Cosmology

An introduction to the modern extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, the physical universe, big bang, formation and evolution of galaxies, quasars, and large-scale structure.

About the Course

This class is an introduction to the modern extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, i.e., the part of astrophysics that deals with the structure and evolution of the universe as a whole, and its major constituents: dark matter, dark energy, galaxies, quasars, large-scale structure, and intergalactic gas. It will cover the subjects including: relativistic cosmological models and their parameters, extragalactic distance scale, cosmological tests, composition of the universe, dark matter, and dark energy; the hot big bang, cosmic nucleosynthesis, recombination, and cosmic microwave background; formation and evolution of structure in the universe; galaxy clusters, large-scale structure and its evolution; galaxies, their properties and fundamental correlations; formation and evolution of galaxies; star formation history of the universe; quasars and other active galactic nuclei, and their evolution; structure and evolution of the intergalactic medium; diffuse extragalactic backgrounds; the first stars, galaxies, and the reionization era. It corresponds to the Ay 21 class taught at Caltech.

Course Syllabus

Galaxies and Cosmology

The lecture schedule and topics covered by this class are given below. There is no midterm or final for this class, but there are graded quizzes at the end of each week based on lecture material.

Week 1

Chapter 1: Introduction

Cosmology as a science
An overview of the modern cosmology and its history
Units, fluxes, and magnitudes

Chapter 2: Basics of Relativistic Cosmology

Basic concepts of General Relativity
Symmetry assumptions: homogeneity and isotropy
Metric, Robertson-Walker
The cosmological redshift
Comoving and proper coordinates
Friedmann equation
Definitions of cosmological parameters

Week 2

Chapter 3: Cosmological Models

Computing cosmological models
Distances in cosmology
Basics of cosmological tests
The cosmic horizons

Chapter 4: Distance Scale, Age of the Universe, and the Universal Expansion

Distance scale and the Hubble constant
The age of the universe
Tests of the universal expansion

Week 3

Chapter 5: Cosmological Tests

Classical cosmological tests and their problems
Modern tests (non-CMBR)
Tests using CMBR fluctuations

Chapter 6: The hot Big Bang and the Thermal History of the Universe

Planck era and beyond

Week 4

Chapter 7: Contents of the Universe

Luminous matter, M/L ratios
Dark matters
Gravitational lensing
Dark energy, cosmological constant and quintessence

Chapter 8: Structure Formation: Theory

Density fluctuations, power spectrum, growth, damping
Dark matter dependence of cosmogony; Cold Dark Matter
Post-recombination growth
Collapse of density fluctuations
The role of cooling; galaxies vs. clusters and LSS
Numerical simulations
Galaxy merging

Week 5

Chapter 9: Observations of Large Scale Structure

Measurements of galaxy clustering and LSS
Redshift surveys

Chapter 10: Large Scale Structure and Clusters of Galaxies

Peculiar motions
Evolution of clustering
Galaxy clusters and their properties

Week 6

Chapter 11: Galaxies, Their Structure and Properties (I)

Galaxy catalogs, morphological classification, Hubble sequence
Variation of galaxy properties along the Hubble Sequence
Stellar populations and galaxian subsystems
Galaxy luminosity and mass functions
Properties of spiral galaxies, density wave theory

Chapter 12: Galaxies, Their Structure and Properties (II)

Properties of elliptical galaxies
Supermassive black holes in nearby galaxies
Properties of dwarf galaxy families
Fundamental correlations, scaling relations, and their uses

Week 7

Chapter 13: Galaxy Evolution

Basic processes of galaxy evolution: merging, stellar pop. modeling
Deep surveys (imaging and redshift)
Selection effects and obscured star formation
Star formation history, assembly of the mass
The Olbers paradox
Optical/NIR and FIR/sub-mm diffuse backgrounds

Chapter 14: Chemical Evolution, Intergalactic Medium and its Evolution

Chemical evolution of galaxies
Basic phenomenology of absorbers
LyA forest, Lyman limit systems, Damped LyA systems
Evolution of IGM and its chemical enrichment
Feedback processes and the cosmic web

Week 8

Chapter 15: Galaxy Formation

Basics of galaxy formation
The first galaxies and early stages of galaxy evolution
Reionization era
The first stars
The origins of black holes in the early universe

Chapter 16: Quasars and Active Galactic Nuclei: Phenomenology and Physics

AGN properties, basics, classification, spectra
Supermassive black holes and their fueling
Emission mechanisms
AGN unification

Week 9

Chapter 17: Quasars and AGN: Unification, Evolution, High-Energy Backgrounds

Jets and beaming
Quasar surveys and evolution
X-ray, gamma-ray, and AGN-generated backgrounds
The origin of first quasars and supermassive black holes

Recommended Background

This class assumes at a minimum a prior knowledge of astronomy at a good mid-undergraduate level (e.g., "Astro 101” for science majors, not "Astro 1” for poets), knowledge of physics at a comparable level, and math at a level of calculus or higher. A substantive Wikipedia article is about at the right level.

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