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    Cosmology and Galaxies

    This course deals with the properties of galaxies, the large scale distribution of matter in the Universe, and the evolution of cosmic structures from the early cosmos until today. We introduce some fundamental theoretical concepts and contrast them with the available observational evidence. We will deal with the following topics: structure and dynamics of galaxies; stellar populations; models of galactic chemical evolution; clustering of galaxies; the standard model of cosmology; cosmological parameters and their determination; the early universe; galaxy formation. Regular homework exercises will be reviewed in the bi-weekly exercise sessions. These exercises serve also to prepare for the written exam at the end of the semester.


    Prof. Christoph Pfrommer & Prof. Lutz Wisotzki; exercise classes: Kristian Ehlert

    Place and Dates:

    The lectures take place every Tuesday, at 14:15-15:45 in room The exercise classes and the seminars alternate weekly and take place on Thursday, 08:15-09:45 in room

    The cosmology part of the lectures is based on the revised lecture notes originally written by Prof. Bartelmann (University of Heidelberg) and is available as a PDF file.


    • The homogeneous Universe:
      • Geometry and dynamics
      • Parameters, age, and distances
      • Thermal evolution: freeze-out and recombination

    • The inhomogeneous Universe:
      • The growth of perturbations
      • Statistics and non-linear evolution
      • Halo formation as a Gaussian random process

    • The early Universe:
      • Problems of the standard model of cosmology
      • Cosmological inflation

    • Galaxies in the late Universe:
      • Structure and dynamics of galaxies
      • Stellar populations and chemical evolution
      • Galaxy clusters
      • Galaxy formation

    Homework Assignments

    1. Assignment 1 - Due Apr 17 2018.
    2. Assignment 2 - Due May 1 2018.
    3. Assignment 3 - Due May 22 2018.
    4. Assignment 4 - Due Jun 05 2018.
    5. Assignment 5 - Due Jun 19 2018.
    6. Assignment 6 - Due Jul 3 2018.

    Python Tutorial

    Lecture notes/slides by Prof. Wisotzki

    Lecture slides by Prof. Pfrommer

    Credit Points:

    Credit points for this lectures can be used for the Master Science Astrophysics Module PHY-750 and the Master Physics Modules 741b, 731, 732, A841. Note that this course is the second part of the Astrophysics I course in stellar astrophysics, galaxies & cosmology.

    Grades and credit points are given on the basis of a final in-class exam. To be eligible for this exam, you need to obtain at least 50% of the points of your homework assignments.

    Literature (for the cosmology part):

    • Bartelmann, M.: Lectures on Cosmology
    • Peacock, J.: Cosmological physics. Cambridge University Press
    • Peebles, P.J.E.: Principles of physical cosmology. Princeton University Press
    • Padmanabhan, T.: Structure formation in the universe. Cambridge University Press
    • Kolb, E.; Turner, M.: The Early Universe. Westview Press
    • Liddle, A.R.; Lyth, D.H.: Cosmological Inflation and Large Scale Structure. Cambridge University Press