Time & Place: to be determined
Instructor: Alex Buchel, office: MC 264, Ext: 88794, E-mail: abuchel[at]uwo.ca
Office hours: by appointment
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 Big-Bang Cosmology:
a. Basics of the Big-Bang Model (Friedmann equations, cosmological epochs, concept of particle horizon)
b. Shortcomings of the Standard Big-Bang Theory (flatness problem, entropy problem, horizon problem)II. Standard inflationary universe:
a. Inflation and the resolution of the Hot Big-Bang puzzles
b. Inflation and the inflaton (slow-roll 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 de-Sitter spacetime, quantum to classical transition, power spectrum, scalar field fluctuations in a quasi de-Sitter spacetime)
b. Quantum fluctuations during inflation (metric fluctuations, issue of gauge invariance, gauge-invariant computations of the curvature perturbations, gravitational waves)IV. Post-inflationary evolution and the origin of large-scale 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 hep-ph/0210162, and a book by Andrew R. Liddle and David H. Lyth "Cosmological Inflation and Large-Scale 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!