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Theoretical and Observational Cosmology
This course is an account of modern cosmology. It will include a discussion on the large scale homogenous and isotropic nature of the Universe and how the Universe is expanding with time. This will be followed by a brief review of the aspects of General Relativity that we will need in the course.After that, we will discuss the constituents of the Universe and how the expansion of the Universe has changed over time. The apparent accelerating expansion of the Universe and the proposed dark energy explanation for it will also be discussed. The evidence for dark matter and what properties it appears to have will be reviewed.We will use the Boltzmann equation to understand big bang nuclear synthesis and the cosmic microwave background. These are two of the main observational pillars of the big bang model of the Universe. The Boltzmann equation will be used to study a thermal relic model of dark matter.We will then go on to study the inhomogeneity of large scale structure such as galaxies, galaxy clusters and the cosmic web. The anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background will be analysed. We will see how observations of both of these phenomena can allow us to tightly constrain many properties of the Universe.
Subject to approval of the Head of Department. Prior astronomy courses would be useful but are not essential as we will cover any needed subjects during the course.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Post CoVid19 Assessment UpdateFinal exam: 60%Test: 20%Problem sets: 20%
General Course Information (PDF 163KB) Please note in particular....Dishonest PracticePlagiarism, collusion, copying and ghost writing are unacceptable and dishonest practices.• Plagiarism is the presentation of any material (text, data, figures or drawings, on any medium including computer files) from any other source without clear and adequate acknowledgement of the source.• Collusion is the presentation of work performed in conjunction with another person or persons, but submitted as if it has been completed only by the named author(s).• Copying is the use of material (in any medium, including computer files) produced by another person(s) with or without their knowledge and approval.• Ghost writing is the use of another person(s) (with or without payment) to prepare all or part of an item submitted for assessment.Do not engage in dishonest practices. The Department reserves the right to refer dishonest practices to the University Proctor and where appropriate to not mark the work.
Marks and Grades The Physics and Astronomy Department uses the following scale to convert marks into grades:100 – 85 A+ 60 – 64 B- 80 – 84 A 55 – 59 C+ 75 – 79 A- 50 – 54 C 70 – 74 B+ 45 – 49 C- 65 – 69 B Below 45 D/E There is no C- grade available for courses above 200-level and marks in the range 35 – 49 are converted to D.The Physics and Astronomy Department reserves the right to adjust this mark/grade conversion up or down to achieve consistency of assessment standards.Note that in some courses you are required to achieve a certain standard in the course work and/or the final exam in order to obtain a passing grade. See the individual handout for your courses for further information.Reconsideration of AssessmentStudents should, in the first instance, speak to the course co-ordinator about their assessment. If they cannot reach an agreeable solution, students should then speak to the Head of the Physics and Astronomy Department (Professor Roger Reeves, Room 708, Phone no: 364-2572, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).AppealsStudents may appeal any decision made, see the UC Calendar for the appeals process. Note that there are time limits for each step of the appeals process.
Reconsideration of AssessmentStudents should, in the first instance, speak to the course co-ordinator about their assessment. If they cannot reach an agreeable solution, students should then speak to the Head of the Physics and Astronomy Department (Professor Roger Reeves, Room 708, Phone no: 364-2572, e-mail: email@example.com).Students can appeal any decision made on their final grade. You can apply at the Registry to appeal within 4 weeks of the end of the semester. Be aware that there are time limits for each step of the appeals process.AppealsStudents may appeal any decision made, see the UC Calendar for the appeals process. Note that there are time limits for each step of the appeals process.
Late WorkStudents should check with the course Co-ordinator whether or not late work is accepted and what penalties may apply. Requests for submitting work late should be accompanied with a detailed explanation of why the work is late. This must be done well in advance of the due date for the work.
Domestic fee $1,066.00
International Postgraduate fees
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
School of Physical & Chemical Sciences on the department and colleges page.