Introduction to Physical Cosmology

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The course is suitable to IV and V year students of the Physics Laurea Course. No specific prerequisites are necessary as the Course will start from the basic cosmological foundations. If required by even a single student, the course will be taught in Englidh.


The main purpose of the course is to introduce the basic concepts of Physical Cosmology, combining the theoretical aspects with those deriving from past and ongoing experiments. Starting from the fundamental notions of Cosmology, the fundamental kinematic and dynamic properties of Friedmann's cosmological model will be derived from the field equations of General Relativity. The next step will concern the discussion of the linear theory of perturbations, their statistical properties and their growth, followed by the study of non-linear evolution that leads to the formation of cosmic structures. In-depth studies will be proposed on two fundamental components of the Standard Cosmological Model, dark matter and dark energy. In the second part of the course we will deal with the phenomenon of cosmic recombination and its relationship with the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the theoretical basis of which will be discussed in detail as regards in particular to the spectrum of angular fluctuations and the corresponding anisotropies. The last part of the course will lead students to learn about the open problems in current research in the field, with particular emphasis on cosmic inflation. These problems may be further investigated in the seminar proposed as a final exam.

Obiettivi formativi

Provide the physical basis for understanding cosmology, with particular regard to the formation of cosmic structures over a wide range of spacial and temporal scales. The preparation and the typology of the final exam will make it possible to get in touch with the advanced and open problems in the field, thus favoring students who are interested in rapidly enable frontier research on related research topics.

Riferimenti bibliografici

  • Peebles, J., 1993, Principles of Physical Cosmology, Princeton Univ. Press
  • Padmanabhan, T., 1993, Structure Formation in the Universe, Cambridge Univ. Press
  • Ferrara, A., 2006, First Light in the Universe, Saas-Fee Lectures 2006, Springer
  • Mo et al., 2010, Galaxy Formation and Evolution, Cambridge Univ. Press