Galactic Astronomy and Cosmology

Galactic Astronomy and Cosmology

Course Code: B72004H

Course Name: Galactic Astronomy and Cosmology

Credits: 3.0

Level: Undergraduate

Pre-requisite: introductory astronomy, methods of mathematical physics, classical mechanics, thermodynamics and statistical physics, fundamentals of programming language

Lecture Time: 60 periods

Course Description

This course covers the basics of galactic astronomy (Milky Way and extragalactic galaxies) and cosmology, including basic theories and observational methods, and also train the student for simple computations. It is a required basic course for astronomy majors, and can also be used as a selected course for students of other majors with some ground on theoretical physics.


1. Introduction (6 periods)

1.1. historical introduction

1.2. galaxy morphology and classification

1.3. redshift and the Hubble's law

1.4. coordinates,units and photometry system

1.5 distance measurement

2. Observational Properties of Galaxies (5 periods)

2.1. Structure of the Milky Way: Disc, bulge, halo, and star clusters 

2.2. kinematics of stars

2.3. Chemical Abundance and Stellar Population

2.4. spiral and elliptical galaxies

2.5 galaxy groups and clusters

3. Galactic Dynamics (8 periods)

3.1. gravitational potential

3.2 orbits of stars

3.3 virial theorem and Jeans equations

3.4 thermodynamics of self-gravitating system

3.5 rotation curve and dark matter

3.6 spiral arms and density waves

3.7 N-body model

3.8 dynamical friction and galaxy merger

4. Physics of the galaxy(8 periods)

4.1. interstellar medium

4.2. HII regions

4.3. 21cm line 

4.4 star forming region

4.5 supernova remnant

4.6 cosmic ray 

5. quasars and active galactic nuclei

5.1 observational properties and claasification

5.2 jet and apparent superluminal motion

5.3 black holes in the center of galaxies

5.4 black hole accretion process

6. A Brief on General Relativity (4 periods)

6.1. spacetime and tensors

6.2. curved spacetime 

6.3. geodesic equations

6.4 Einstein equations 

7. Relativistic Cosmology (4 periods)

7.1. The static Universe and the Olbers' paradox 

7.2. Newtonian dynamics of homogeneous spherical system

7.3. Geometry of the Universe

7.4. Matter and Radiation

7.5. FLRW model and cosmological parameters

8. Observational Cosmology (2 periods)

8.1. time, distance and brightness in an expanding Universe

8.2. cosmic distance ladder

8.3 supernovae

9. Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (6 periods)

9.1 the black body spectrum

9.2 plasma recombination and photon decoupling

9.3 cosmic history: the dark ages and epoch of reionization

9.4 CMB angular power spectrum

9.5 CMB polarization

9.6 Sachs-Wolfe effect

9.7 Acoustic Oscillation

10. Big Bang Nucleon Synthesis (4 period)

10.1. thermodynamics of early universe

10.2 the origin of light elements

10.3 element abundances

11. Large Scale Structure and Galaxy Formation (6 hours)

12.1 random fields, correlation function and power spectrum

11.2 gravitational instability

12.3 spherical collapse

12.4 Press-Schecter model

12.5 Jeans instability

12.6 heating and cooling of gas

12. Inflation (4 peiors)

12.1 problems in the standard hot big bang model

12.2 inflation theory

12.3 primordial perturbations

Instruction Methods: lectures

Scores: Closed Exam (50%), homework (50%)


(1) P. Schneider: Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology - an introduction

(2) A. Liddle: An Introduction to Modern Cosmology


H.J. Mo, van den Bosch, White, Galaxy Formation and Evolution