Structure formation in the early Universe

Period of duration of course
Course info
Number of course hours
Number of hours of lecturers of reference
Number of hours of supplementary teaching

Type of exam

Written exam and seminars


PhD students


This course will cover the formation and evolution of the first galaxies.  We will begin with a brief introduction to the standard cosmological model, and linear perturbation theory.  The first half of the course will be devoted to the formation of non-linear dark matter structures.  These will be statistically characterized using both analytic models and numerical simulations. In the second half, we will explore the physics governing the collapse of primordial gas and the formation of stars and galaxies.  We will learn how these first astrophysical structures interacted with each other and the intergalactic medium.  Finally, we will cover some promising observational signatures of the first galaxies in the reionization of cosmic hydrogen and the physics of the redshifted 21cm line from neutral hydrogen.

Educational aims

an understanding of the theory of the formation of the first structures, corresponding observational evidence, and remaining open questions in this active research field

Bibliographical references

Class notes and other materials will be provided during the course.