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Fundamental physics, year 1 (Teknisk fysik, årskurs 4)

Astroparticle physics — Lecture notes

by Christian von Schultz

Lecturer: Niclas Wyllard

The course home page can be found at

Monday 2009-01-19
Goal and scope of the course. Natural units, Planck units. The Planck length, mass, time and temperature. The parsec. Observational foundations of cosmology: The universe is isotropic and homogeneous on large scales. The universe is expanding. Background radiation. Baryon to photon ratio. Lack of antimatter. Hydrogen and helium dominate. The Hot Big Bang model: The age of the universe. Hubble's law. Dark matter. The critical density. The cosmological constant Λ. Dark energy.
Wednesday 2009-01-21
General relativity. The distance between two points with infinitesimal separation. Choice of sign convention. The Riemann tensor Rμνρσ. Einstein's equations. The standard model of cosmology (FRW model). The energy-momentum tensor for a perfect fluid. The Friedmann equation. Conformal time η. Solutions of the cosmological equations for ultra-relativistic gas, non-relativistic matter, and vacuum energy. Newtonian analysis.
Monday 2009-01-26
Friedmann equations. Conservation of energy. Toy models: sphere, hyperboloid. Hubble's law. Deceleration parameter q. The fate of the universe. Horizon distance. Redshift z. Cosmological redshift. Luminosity distance. Standard candle. Angular distance. Standard ruler.
Wednesday 2009-01-28
The lookback time. The age of the universe. Particle physics: quantum mechanics is important to cosmology. Quantum field theory. Forces of nature. Gauge theories. Maxwell's equations and the Lagrangian of electromagnetism. Variational calculus. SU(N) Lie algebra. Yang-Mills theory. Gauge field strength terms in the standard model Lagrangian. Gauge transformations. Scalar fields. The Klein-Gordon equation. Coupling a complex scalar field to electromagnetism.
Monday 2009-02-02
Higgs mechanism. A Lagrangian for fermions. The Dirac matrices γμ. Spinors. Fundamental particles: quarks and leptons. Confinement. Mesons and baryons. SU(2)×U(1) electroweak theory.
Wednesday 2009-02-04
Feynman diagrams. Partition function Z in formal power series expansion. The propagator. Vertices. Combinatorial factors. Connected and disconnected diagrams. Vacuum diagrams and scattering diagrams. Path integrals in quantum field theory. Muon decay and down-quark decay (β decay). Beyond the standard model: quantum gravity missing, supersymmetry?
Monday 2009-02-09
Phase transitions, non-continuous and continuous. Critical temperature Tc. Correlation length ξ. Critical exponent ν. Description with effective field theory. The domain wall solution. Topological defects.
Wednesday 2009-02-11
Thermodynamics. Interaction rate Γ and freeze out. The distribution function. Chemical potential. Number density, energy density, pressure: integrals and limits. Entropy and stuff. geff. Entropy density s and gseff.
Monday 2009-02-16
Decoupling of neutrinos. Annihilation of electron-positron pairs. Reheating. Background neutrino radiation with temperature 1.95 K. Graviton background radiation. Matter-antimatter asymmetry, baryogenesis. Sakharov's conditions: baryon number violation, deviation from thermal equilibrium, C and CP violation.
Wednesday 2009-02-18
Recombination. The Saha equation. The baryon to photon ratio. Recombination. The surface of last scattering. Nucleosynthesis. The baryonic matter density.
Monday 2009-02-23
Freeze-out and dark matter. The horizon problem. The flatness problem. The monopole problem.
Wednesday 2009-02-25
Inflation. ...
Monday 2009-03-02
More inflation. ...
Wednesday 2009-03-04

Christian von Schultz <>