First cycle
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Second cycle
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School of Science
Course unit
SCP7081677, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC2382, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2018/19
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Degree course track PHYSICS OF MATTER [002PD]
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge SABINO MATARRESE FIS/05

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses FIS/05 Astronomy and Astrophysics 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2020/21 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
3 THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE 01/10/2019 30/11/2020 MATARRESE SABINO (Presidente)
LIGUORI MICHELE (Membro Effettivo)
2 THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 MATARRESE SABINO (Presidente)
LIGUORI MICHELE (Membro Effettivo)
1 THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE 01/10/2017 30/11/2018 MATARRESE SABINO (Presidente)
LIGUORI MICHELE (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics and special relativity
Target skills and knowledge: The ability to deal with a class of physical and astronomical phenomena whose interpretation requires an approach based on largely interdisciplinary tools.
Te ability to pass from the abstract formulation of a set of physical principles and mathematical tools - acquired from teh bachelor courses - to their implementation in a different context w.r.t. that of funddamental courses of the bachelor degree.
Examination methods: Oral interview.
Assessment criteria: The oral interview is aimed at testing the ability of the student to elaborate on the various subjects covered by the course, starting from a few basic principles.
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.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Classrooms.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Besides the relevant chapters of the indicated textbooks (which will be further specified during the classes), professor's notes on many subjects covered during the course will be provided as online material.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Coles, P. and Lucchin, F., Cosmology, The Origin and Evolution of Cosmic Structure. Chichester: Wiley and Sons., 2002. Testo di riferimento per la parte di cosmologia. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Phillips, A.C., The Physics of Stars. Chichester: Wiley and Sons., 1994. Testo di riferimento per la parte di astrofisica stellare Cerca nel catalogo
  • Kolb, E.W. and Turner, M.S., The Early Universe. Redwood City,: Addison-Wesley, 1990. Testo consigliato per alcuni argomenti specifici Cerca nel catalogo