Galaxies and The Universe module (PH41009)

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In this module, you will deepen your knowledge gained in the introductory PH12003 Space Physics and Astronomy module and cover the areas of galactic and extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology.  

You will learn about the structure of the Milky Way and other galaxies, their physics and formation processes, the physics of galaxy clusters and the processes around supermassive black holes. You will be introduced to the standard cosmological model, study a homogeneous and isotropic universe model, and learn the role of the different energy density components in the Lambda-CDM model. You will explore what we can learn from recent missions that mapped the Cosmic Microwave Background and the challenges and open problems of modern cosmology. 

Topics include: 

  • The main components of the Milky Way galaxy, such as the disk, the bulge, and the halo, and the major constituents of these structures, such as stars, the interstellar medium (gas and dust), and dark matter.  

  • Normal and active galaxies. Galaxy classification, composition and dynamics, and the central supermassive black holes. Clusters and groups of galaxies and how they are distributed across the Universe. 

  • The homogeneous and isotropic model for the Universe, including Einstein's equations and the Concordance Lambda-CDM model, and understanding the role of dark matter, dark energy, baryonic matter, and radiation on the structures we observe nowadays, its evolution, and its fate. 

  • The challenges faced by modern cosmology and how different observational missions, such as the Planck Mission and Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations, can help us to understand the Universe, as well as the future contribution that other novel methods, such as Gravitational Wave Cosmology, could contribute to the field of cosmology and the discovery of new physics. 

  • Using data from supernovae surveys from the ASAS-SN program and cosmology simulations with the Code for Anisotropies in the Microwave Background (CAMB) to derive Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) temperature maps and compare them to observations. 


This module is available on following courses: