Universität Leipzig

Cosmology (12-PHY-MWPQFG2)
Summer Term 2021




Prof. R. Verch
ITP, Universität Leipzig
Brüderstr. 16
Phone: +49 341 97 32423

Dr. M. Hänsel
ITP, Universität Leipzig
Brüderstr. 16

Webpage: Rainer Verch


On Fri 30 April, the lecture starts at 16:30

The zoom link for the lectures -


The moodle platform for the course has been started. All files related to lectures and homework problems will be provided on the moodle platform from now on, and are no longer available on this web-page.

Lectures and Classes

Prof. R. Verch
Mon 17.15-18.45 and Fri 15.15-16.45
The lectures will be given as online presentations during the scheduled times, using zoom. The relevant link will be sent via AlmaWeb. The slides of the lecture presentations are available on the moodle platform.

Exercise Class
see announcement on moodle

Recommended Literature:

  • A. Liddle, An Introduction to Modern Cosmology, Wiley, 2003 (reprint 2007)
  • H. Goenner, Einführung in die Kosmologie, Spektrum, 1994
  • S. Dodelson, Modern Cosmology, Academic Press, 2003
  • S. Weinberg, Cosmology, Oxford University Press, 2008
  • G.F.R. Ellis, R. Maartens, M.A.H. MacCallum, Relativistic Cosmology, Cambridge University Press, 2012
  • C.W Misner, K.S. Thorne, J.A. Wheeler, Gravitation, W.H. Freeman and Co., 1973
  • R. d'Inverno, Introducing Einstein's Relativity, Oxford University Press, 1992
  • E.W. Kolb, M.S. Turner, The Early Universe, Addison-Wesley, 1990

  • Content: Foundations of modern Cosmology. Methods of observation, distance measurement and distance scales, elements of general relativity, homogeneous-isotropic cosmological spacetime models, cosmological standard model (Lambda-CDM), thermal evolution, nucleosynthesis, recombination, horizon problem, sketch of inflationary model, cosmological fluctuations

    Additional Material

    A virtual Universe is a video extract (by Nature Video) of a recent complex computer simulation from a group at MIT incorporating dark matter. It basically confirms that dark matter is an important ingredient for galaxy formation at the presently known relevant time scales.

    Further scientifically based visualizations relating to the evolution of the Universe, galaxy formation etc are provided by the Illustris Project . It is worth looking at all the information held at this site.

    This page on the age determination of a stellar cluster is instructive. It is taken from an e-learning course on astronomy at Penn State U. The page contains links to several other topics on globular stellar clusters.

    The arXiv preprint of the PRL article on the first detection of gravitational waves in 2015 from a binary black hole merger 1.3 M light years away.

    A webpage of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope gives an introduction to gravitational lensing and dark matter with nice pictures and illustrations. There is also a short but instructive (partially historical) online survey article by Richard Ellis.

    Astrophysicist Edward White at UCLA provides some interesting web-pages on topics related to cosmology. One is devoted to determining the Age of the Universe. That page also contains a link to a background fact sheet (by Chris Stassen) on isochron dating methods to determine the age of objects through radioactive decay from ratios of abundances of isotopes.

    There are a number of modernized versions of the famous "Powers of Ten" video visualizing the various scales in the Universe. A very impressive example is an interactive representation titled The Scale of The Universe 2 by Cary and Michael Huang. As this interactive journey takes quite some loading time, there are several video extractions available on YouTube. Among the better ones is this:
    The Smallest to the Biggest in the Universe

    A schematic timeline of the universe is available from the website "Physics of the Universe" (by Luke Mastin). It is similar to the one presented in the lectures. There are also several others available on the internet.

    The review articles on physical cosmology of Living Reviews in Relativity

    Andrei Linde's review article (2007) on Inflationary Cosmology (from arXiv.org)

    Andrei Linde's book "Particle Physics and Inflationary Cosmology" is available as pdf file at arXiv.org

    Norbert Straumann's review article on primordial fluctuations

    The Astronomical Society of the Pacific provides a rich and interesting resource guide on cosmology for teaching purposes which is really worth having a look at.