Wilczek, Frank, 8.952 Particle Physics of the Early Universe, Fall 2004. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), http://ocw.mit.edu (Accessed 09 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

This Hubble Ultra Deep Field image provides a snapshot of the universe as it appeared only 400 million years after the Big Bang. (Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF team.)

This course features extensive lecture notes and assignments.

This course covers the basics of general relativity, standard big bang cosmology, thermodynamics of the early universe, cosmic background radiation, primordial nucleosynthesis, basics of the standard model of particle physics, electroweak and QCD phase transition, basics of group theory, grand unified theories, baryon asymmetry, monopoles, cosmic strings, domain walls, axions, inflationary universe, and structure formation.

## Syllabus

#### Course Description

This course covers the basics of general relativity, standard big bang cosmology, thermodynamics of the early universe, cosmic background radiation, primordial nucleosynthesis, basics of the standard model of particle physics, electroweak and QCD phase transition, basics of group theory, grand unified theories, baryon asymmetry, monopoles, cosmic strings, domain walls, axions, inflationary universe, and structure formation.

Topics were presented in the following order:

Course calendar.
SES # |
TOPICS |

**Part 1: General Relativity** |

1.1 |
Transformations and Metric |

1.2 |
Covariant Derivatives: Affine Structure |

1.3 |
Covariant Derivatives: Metric |

1.4 |
Invariant Measure |

1.5 |
Curvature |

1.6 |
Invariant Actions |

1.7 |
Field Equations |

1.8 |
Newtonian Limit |

**Part 2: Cosmological Models with Idealized Matter** |

2.1 |
Model Spaces: Construction |

2.2 |
Friedmann-Robertson-Walker (FRW) Spacetimes |

2.3 |
Curvature Calculations |

2.4 |
FRW Dynamics |

2.5 |
Canonical Model Cosmologies |

2.6 |
Global Structure and Causality Relations |

2.7 |
Measures of Space-Time Geometry |

2.8 |
Olbers' Paradox |

**Part 3: Cosmological Models with Known Matter** |

3.1 |
Effect of Expansion on Matter |

3.2 |
Effect of Expansion on Free Thermal Distributions |

#### Prerequisites

Relativistic Quantum Field Theory I (8.323), and Relativistic Quantum Field Theory II (8.324)

#### Textbook

Peacock, John A. *Cosmological Physics*. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN: 9780521422703.

#### Grading Policy

Class Participation - 100%