This is the webpage for the 2016 edition of the course Origin and Evolution of the Universe, part of the Leiden Astronomy Masters degree. This website will evolve somewhat during the course to reflect actual progress and topics covered. Therefore visit this page regularlly. The course is taught by Dr. Henk Hoekstra, with assistance of PhD student Andrej Dvornik. If you have questions about the course you can find him in office Oort room 453 on Thursdays between 2 and 3 pm.

The topics and level of the course are not well covered by a single book, so a number of texts are suggested. A very well-written, but somewhat basic introduction is provided by "An Introduction to Modern Cosmology" (2nd edition) by Andrew Liddle. Somewhat more substantial is “Introduction to Cosmology” by Barbara Ryden. Finally the more advanced topics are discussed in “Cosmology: The Origin and Evolution of Cosmic Structure” by Peter Coles and Francesco Lucchin (2nd edition) or in "Cosmological Physics" by John Peacock. Not all books are required, because the lecture notes will be made available as well. The material that is treated in class delimits what will be tested in the written exam for the course. To aid in the preparation for the exam there will be three homework assignments: homework should be handed in before it is discussed in the problems classes. All homework handed in will be graded and the total score will count towards 20% of the final grade (but only if this is higher than the exam grade).

Lectures will typically take place in room 414 of the Huygens building on Monday from 13:45-15:30, with three classes scheduled on Friday afternoon (same place & time). A detailed schedule of the course is provided below. Changes from the nominal schedule are provided. Please check regularly for changes.



Topics to be covered


  September 26 Introduction & Friedmann equation (presentation;notes)  
  October 7 Fluid & acceleration equation, (presentation; notes)  
  October 10 Intro GR, Space time metric, proper distance (notes)  
  October 17 Redshift, horizons, observable distances, parameter constraints, introduction CMB(presentation; notes)  
  October 21 Problems class 1 (problem set; solutions)  
  October 24 Observable distances, parameter constraints, introduction CMB (presentation; notes)  
  October 31 Thermal history, early universe (presentation; notes)  
  November 7 Early universe, inflation (presentation; notes)  
  November 14 Inflation, Lepton era (presentation; notes)  
  November 18 Problems class 2 (problem set; solutions)  
  November 21 Big Bang nucleosynthesis, recombination (presentation; notes)  
  November 28 Introduction to structure formation (presentation; notes)  
  December 5 Cosmic background radiation (presentation; notes)  
  December 9 Problems class 3 (problem set)  
  December 12 Cosmic background radiation (presentation; notes); Q&A session to prepare for the final exam  
  January 4 Final exam from 14:00-17:00 in HL414  
    The grades can be seen here.  


  February 8 Retake exam from 9:00-12:00 in HL414

    If you have not yet expressed your interest in the retake exam, please do so.