First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP9086381, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC2490, Degree course structure A.Y. 2019/20, A.Y. 2019/20
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Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mandatory attendance
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 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2019 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
1 Commissione Fundamentals of Astrophysics and Cosmology 19/20 01/10/2019 30/11/2020 MATARRESE SABINO (Presidente)
LIGUORI MICHELE (Membro Effettivo)
TUROLLA ROBERTO (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.
The ability to pass from the abstract formulation of a set of physical principles and mathematical tools - acquired from the bachelor courses - to their implementation in a different context w.r.t. that of fundamental classes 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: Fundamental concepts of galactic and extra-galactic astrophysics

• The classification of galaxies
• Statistical properties of the galaxy population
• Groups and clusters of galaxies

Fundamental concepts of Cosmology

* Main components of the Universe. Observational evidence for the existence of dark matter and dark energy.
* Expanding Universe and Cosmological Principle.
* Robertson-Walker line-element. Geometrical properties.
* Hubble constant and deceleration parameter.
* Distances in Cosmology; redshift and Hubble law (low-redshift approximation).
* Derivation of Friedmann equations (dust case); Newtonian and relativistic contributions
* Friedmann models.
* Cosmological constant: Einstein's static solution and de Sitter solution. Dynamical dark energy
* Cosmological solutions for the spatially flat case. Universe models with non- zero spatial curvature.
• Exact treatment of the Hubble law.

Thermal history and early Universe

* Number density, energy density and pressure of a system of particles in thermodynamic 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.
• Kinematics and dynamics of inflation; the "inflaton".
• Old, new and chaotic inflation; slow-roll dynamics (basic account).
* Baryon asymmetry in the Universe (basic account)
• Primordial nucleosynthesis of light elements.
* 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/Cold/Warm Dark matter: definition, present abundance and general cosmological properties.

Elements of stellar astrophysics

* Gravitational contraction and conditions for hydrostatic equilibrium.
* Adiabatic index and equilibrium.
* Conditions for gravitational collapse.
* Jeans theory of gravitational instability.
* Contraction of a protostar.
* Star formation and degenerate electron gas.
* The Sun: general properties, radiative diffusion, thermonuclear fusion.
* Stellar nucleosynthesis.
* Stellar cycles.
* Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
* Basics of stellar structure. Clayton model: Minimum mass of a star; maximum mass for a Main-Sequence star.
* End-points of stellar evolution: white dwarfs, neutron stars, Chandrasekhar mass, black holes.

The formation of cosmic structures

* Linear evolution of perturbations in the expanding Universe (basic principles).
* Spherical collapse of a cosmic proto-structure.
* Mass-function of cosmic structures: Press-Schechter theory.
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., Lucchin F., Cosmology, The Origin and Evolution of Cosmic Structure.. Chichester: Wiley and Sons, 2002. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Kolb E.W., Turner M., The Early Universe. Redwood City: Addison-Wesley, 1990. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Mo H., van den Bosch F. White S., Galaxy Formation and Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Phillips A.C., The Physics of Stars. Chichester: Wiley and Sons, 1994. Cerca nel catalogo