Dr. Josef Pradler, WS2017/2018, Uni Wien

Aims, contents and method of the course

The lecture aims at discussing topics that are connected with important phenomena in cosmology and/or astroparticle physics, but are rarely covered in Quantum Field Theory and Relativity courses.

Cosmology: action principle, energy-momentum tensor, gauge transformations and perturbation theory in General Relativity; Einstein and Friedmann equations and standard cosmological history; scalar fields in a gravitational background, inflation and inflationary perturbations; tensor modes*, gravitational particle production*;

Astroparticle physics: particle dispersion and decay in media, plasmon decay and stellar energy loss; vacuum stability*, axions*, effective theory of dark matter direct detection**time permitting; some topics may still change

Plan of the course:

I.  From Einstein's Equations to Cosmology
Lecture NotesExercises

II. Standard Cosmology & Shortcomings
Lecture Notes, Exercises I, Exercises II

III. Inhomogeneous Universe & Origin of Structure
Lecture Notes, Exercises I, Exercises II, Exercises IIILecture Notes II

IV. Particles in Media 
Lecture Notes

Assessment and permitted materials

Oral exam

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Reasonable familiarity with notions of Quantum Field Theory and General Relativity such as second quantization and tensor calculus.

Examination topics

Presented course material

Reading list

Specialized literature will be given during lectures; general textbooks on field theory and cosmology are

  • Peskin, Schroeder, "An Introductin to Quantum Field Theory"
  • Kolb, Turner, "The Early Universe"
  • Weinberg, "Cosmology" & "Gravitation"