Skip to main content

PX389 - Cosmology

  • Module code: PX389
  • Module name: Cosmology
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 7.5

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The module will present the credentials of the Universe as we know it (via experiment) and introduce the simplest models which can describe it. The module will stress the role of experimental data and emphasize the need to distinguish between cosmology as a physical science, which makes testable predictions, and untestable pseudo-cosmologies which may appear to give appealing and all-encompassing accounts of the universe

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should: By the end of the module, students should: Have a qualitative appreciation of the current status of cosmology; Be able to recognise the importance of observations in constraining possible cosmological theories; Be familiar with the big bang model; Be aware of some of the aspects of cosmology where more work is needed to reconcile theory and observations

Timetabled teaching activities

15 Lectures

Departmental link

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/physics/teach/syllabi/year3/px389/

Other essential notes

Questions about the origin of the Universe, where it is going and how it may get there are the domain of cosmology. One of the questions addressed in the module is whether the Universe will continue to expand or ultimately contract. Relevant experimental data include those on the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, the distribution of galaxies and the distribution of mass in the Universe. The module discusses the implications of these in some detail. Starting from fundamental observations such as that the night sky is dark and, by appealing to principles from Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, the module develops a description of the Universe. This leads to the Friedmann equation, Hubble's law, the cosmological redshift and eventually to the Big Bang Model, with singular behaviour at the origin of the Universe. The module also discusses the evolution of the primeval fireball, the synthesis of Helium and the origin of structure.

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
7.5 CATS (Module code: PX389-7.5)
B (Examination only) 1.5 hr exam (Summer) Cosmology 100%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed (visiting/exchange) PART YEAR 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

Core

N/A

Optional Core

N/A

Optional
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc) (F300) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Physics (with Intercalated Year) (F301) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys) (FG33) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (BSc) (G100) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics with Intercalated Year (G101) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) (G103) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) (G103) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 5
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe (G106) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe (G106) - Year 4
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc) (GF13) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (with Intercalated Year) (GF14) - Year 4