## PHYSICS 262: General Relativity

Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is a basis for modern ideas of fundamental physics, including string theory, as well as for studies of cosmology and astrophysics. The course begins with an overview of special relativity, and the description of gravity as arising from curved space. From Riemannian geometry and the geodesic equations, to curvature, the energy-momentum tensor, and the Einstein field equations. Applications of General Relativity: topics may include experimental tests of General Relativity and the weak-field limit, black holes (Schwarzschild, charged Reissner-Nordstrom, and rotating Kerr black holes), gravitational waves (including detection methods), and an introduction to cosmology (including cosmic microwave background radiation, dark energy, and experimental probes). Prerequisite:
PHYSICS 121 or equivalent including special relativity.

Terms: Win
| Units: 3

Instructors:
Blandford, R. (PI)
;
Yan, C. (TA)

## PHYSICS 361: Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics

Intended as a complement to Ph 362 and Ph 364.nGalaxies (including their nuclei), clusters, stars and backgrounds in the contemporary universe. Geometry, kinematics, dynamics, and physics of the universe at large. Evolution of the universe following the epoch of nucleosynthesis. Epochs of recombination, reionization and first galaxy formation. Fluid and kinetic description of the growth of structure with application to microwave background fluctuations and galaxy surveys. Gravitational lensing. The course will feature interleaved discussion of theory and observation. Undergraduate exposure to general relativity and cosmology at the level of Ph 262 and Ph 161 will be helpful but is not essential.

Last offered: Autumn 2019

## PHYSICS 362: The Early Universe

Intended to complement
PHYSICS 361, this course will cover the earlier period in cosmology up to and including nucleosynthesis. The focus will be on high energy, early universe physics. This includes topics such as inflation and reheating including generation of density perturbations and primordial gravitational waves, baryogenesis mechanisms, out of equilibrium particle production processes in the early universe e.g. both thermal and non-thermal production mechanisms for dark matter candidates such as WIMPs and axions, and production of the light nuclei and neutrinos. Techniques covered include for example out of equilibrium statistical mechanics such as the Boltzmann equation, and dynamics of scalar fields in the expanding universe. Other possible topics if time permits may include cosmological phase transitions and objects such as monopoles and primordial black holes. We will use quantum field theory, although it will hopefully be accessible for those without much background in that area. Suggested prerequisites: general relativity at the level of
PHYSICS 262, some knowledge of cosmology and in particular the basics of FRW cosmology as in
PHYSICS 361 for example, and some knowledge of quantum field theory e.g. at the level of
PHYSICS 331 as a corequisite.

Last offered: Winter 2020

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