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Cosmology - APM4801

Honours NQF level: 8 Credits: 12
Module presented in English Module presented online
Purpose: Cosmology is the study of the physical universe. The module first introduces properties of the visible universe, including concepts such as distance scales, redshift, isotropy and homogeneity. This is followed by a brief survey of the structure and evolution of galaxies and stars. An empirical basis is used to show that the physical universe in its entirety has structure and evolves. The module focuses mainly on big-bang models of the universe and gives a description of both Newtonian cosmology and general relativistic cosmology. The big-bang type of evolution of the universe is followed from its early stages, including neutrino decoupling and the radiation dominated era. This is then pursued through decoupling and the origin of the cosmic microwave background radiation, and into the matter dominated era. The module is concluded with a fairly introductory discussion of observational cosmology. The latter looks at a variety of cosmological observations, all using discreet sources of radiation, to test the validity of models. The module is aimed at students who majored in applied mathematics, physics, or astronomy.