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Over the last two decades, we have witnessed the development of the "Standard Model of Cosmology", which represents a well-defined physical model of the origin and evolution of the Universe and structures therein. The model is characterized by a few parameters, which are now known to high precision thanks to a wealth of new data of different cosmological probes. While there are virtually no cosmological observations that disagree with the model on large scales, there remains some tension on small scales. Those may either signal new physics beyond the standard model of particle physics or point to our incomplete understanding of the underlying astrophysics. The lectures will explain the simple principles of the model that allow a consistent description of cosmic history and show the breathtaking consequences that draw from it - arguably one of the astonishing cultural heritages of mankind. The lectures are complemented by a seminar that discusses the problems of the otherwise so successful standard model and shows how those are addressed by contemporary research.
The contents of this lecture are coordinated with the lecture "Observing the Big Bang", which displays the model's empirical basis, while here the physics is emphasized. It begins, where modern cosmology branches off General Relativity, but does not require it as a prerequisite. The lecture aims at students who
The lectures are based on a revised lecture notes originally written by Prof. Dr. Bartelmann and is available as a PDF file. The lectures "Introductory Astronomy", "Observing the Big Bang", and "General Relativity" are useful but not required. Materials for download are offered for all of them.
If you want to obtain credit points, please sign up for the exercise classes here.
Credit Points:Grades and credit points are given on the basis of homework assignements, final in-class exam, and the presentation of a scientific paper in the Seminar on "Contemporary Research in Cosmology".