THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE

Second cycle degree in PHYSICS

Campus: PADOVA

Language: English

Teaching period: First Semester

Lecturer: SABINO MATARRESE

Number of ECTS credits allocated: 6


Syllabus
Prerequisites: Fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics and special relativity
Examination methods: Oral interview.
Course unit contents: Basic concepts of Cosmology

* Main components of teh Universe. Observational evidence for the existsnce of dark amtter and dark energy.
* Expanding Universe and Cosmological Principle.
* Robertson-Walker line-element.
* Hubble constant and deceleration parameter.
* Distances in Cosmology; redshift and Hubble law.
* Newtonian derivation of Friedmann equations (dust case)
* Friedmann models.
* Cosmological constant: Einstein's static solution and de Sitter solution.
* Cosmological solutions for the spatially flat case. Universe models with non-zero spatial curvature.

Thermal history and early Universe.

* Number density, energy density and pressure of a system of particles in thermodynamical equilibrium.
* Entropy conservation in a comoving volume.
* Time-temperature relation in the Early Universe.
* Shortcomings of the standard cosmological model: horizon, flatness problems, etc.
* Inflation in the Early Universe: solution of the horizon and flatness problems.
* Baryon asymmetry in the Universe (basic account)
* Hydrogen recombination: Saha equation. Matter-radiation decoupling. Cosmic Microwave background.
* General definition of decoupling.

Dark matter: general properties

* Boltzmann equation in Cosmology and cosmic relics.
* Hot and Cold Dark matter: definition, present abundance and general cosmological properties.

Elements of stellar astrophysics.

* Primordial nucleosynthesis of light elements.
* Gravitational contraction and conditions for hydrostatic equilibrium.
* Adiabatic index and equilibrium.
* Conditions for gravitational collapse.
* Jeans theory of gravitational instability.
* Linear evolution of perturbations in the expanding Universe (basic principles)
* Spherical collapse of a cosmic protostructure.
* Mass-function of cosmic structures: Press-Schechter theory.
* Contraction of a proto-star.
* Star formation and degenerate electron gas.
* The Sun: general properties, radiative diffusion, thermonuclear fusion.
* Stellar nucleosynthesis.
* Stellar cycles.
* Basic of stellar structure. Minimum and maximum mass for a star.
* End-points of stellar evolution: white dwarfs, neutrron stars, black holes.
* Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.