Time & Place: to be determinedInstructor: Alex Buchel, office: MC 264, Ext: 88794, Email: abuchel[at]uwo.ca
Office hours: by appointment
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Prerequisites:
This course is geared for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students enrolled in Collaborative Ph.D. Program in Theoretical Physics. Required previous course work: Quantum Field Theory (AM516 or equivalent) and General Relativity (at the level "Gravitation" by Thorne and Miller or equivalent; preferably "General Relativity" by Wald)
Course outline:
I. The Hot BigBang Cosmology:a. Basics of the BigBang Model (Friedmann equations, cosmological epochs, concept of particle horizon)
b. Shortcomings of the Standard BigBang Theory (flatness problem, entropy problem, horizon problem)II. Standard inflationary universe:a. Inflation and the resolution of the Hot BigBang puzzles
b. Inflation and the inflaton (slowroll conditions, stages of inflation and reheating, survey of inflationary models)III. Inflation and the cosmological perturbations:a. Quantum fluctuations of a generic massless (massive) scalar field during inflation (scalar field fluctuations in deSitter spacetime, quantum to classical transition, power spectrum, scalar field fluctuations in a quasi deSitter spacetime)
b. Quantum fluctuations during inflation (metric fluctuations, issue of gauge invariance, gaugeinvariant computations of the curvature perturbations, gravitational waves)IV. Postinflationary evolution and the origin of largescale structure:(matter power spectrum, CMB anisotropy, galaxy formation)
V. Inflation in string theory:(cosmological backgrounds in string theory, the Landscape of String Theory, Braneworld inflation, open questions)
Text:
The primary text are lecture notes "Inflation and the Theory of Cosmological Perturbations" by Antonio Riotto hepph/0210162, and a book by Andrew R. Liddle and David H. Lyth "Cosmological Inflation and LargeScale Structure". Additional resources will be posted on/linked to the course webpage.
Course evaluation:
The course evaluation will be based on several (to be determined) regular problem sets that will be handed in during the term. There is no final exam.
Feedback:
Feedback to the instructor regarding the quality, speed, and content of presentation is especially appreciated during the semester!