CODE 
PHY3265 

TITLE 
Cosmology and Relativity 

LEVEL 
03  Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course 

ECTS CREDITS 
4 

DEPARTMENT 
Physics 

DESCRIPTION 
Cosmology endeavours to use the scientific method to understand the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the Universe as a whole.
This studyunit will lay the foundations for advanced study and research in Astrophysics in general and theoretical physics in particular. There will be an introduction to the modern mathematical framework of General Relativity which is the cornerstone of current research in all of cosmology. This will be followed by an introduction into the foundations of the modern cosmology.
This is not a basic studyunit in physics but is specifically designed to allow for the easy access of Standard Cosmology in a clear and presentable manner. It is strongly recommended that the student also take MAT3513 'Tensors and Relativity' (5 Credits), but this is not necessary, the course will be selfcontained.
A more detailed breakdown of the studyunit is given below:
 Special Relativity: Tensor Formalism and Notation, Introduce the Concept of a Metric, the Nature of Physical Laws in Tensor Forms;  Equivalence Principles: The Weak and Strong Equivalence Principles and their Applications in Gravitational Experiments;  Introduce General Relativity: Introduce to Curved Spacetime, The Schwarzschild Solution, Classical Tests of General Relativity;  Cosmology: The FriedmannLemaîtreRobertsonWalker metric, Concept of the Big Bang, The Hubble Parameter and The Constituents that make up the Universe, The Deceleration Parameter, Basic Calculations on the CMB Pattern, Inflation.
StudyUnit Aims:
The studyunit aims to give students a general background in the field of cosmology through the prism of general relativity. This will involve starting from the bedrock of special relativity which will lead to general relativity. By investigating Einstein’s theory and its solutions the studyunit aims to then expand on the modern description of the Universe with a look at some of the main epoch of its history. The studyunit will close with a description of some of the contemporary topics modern cosmology investigates.
Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this studyunit, the student will be able to:
 Describe the general features of Einstein’s theory of general relativity;  Predict some of general relativity’s standard tests;  Describe in its mathematical detail some of the basic elements of modern cosmology;  Explain some long standing problems in modern cosmology and their potential solutions;  Connect observation with the need of a cosmological constant and describe dark energy.
Main Texts:
 Carroll S.M., Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity, 1st Edition, Addison Wesley, New York, 2003.  Cheng T.P., Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology: A Basic Introduction, 2nd Edition, Oxford Master Series in Physics, 2010.
Supplementary Reading:
 Taylor E.F., Wheeler J.A. and Bertschinger E., Exploring Black Holes: Introduction to General Relativity, 2nd Edition, Addison Wesley, New York, 2000.


STUDYUNIT TYPE 
Lecture and Tutorial 

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT 
Assessment Component/s 
Resit Availability 
Weighting 
Examination (2 Hours)

Yes 
100% 


LECTURER/S 
Jackson Said


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and StudyUnit information are complete and uptodate at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the studyunit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if studyunit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

22 October 2017
http://www.um.edu.mt/science/studyunit