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260028 VO Field Theory Methods in Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics

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 Notes, Exercises

II. Standard Cosmology & Shortcomings

Lecture Notes, Exercises I, Exercises II

III. Inhomogeneous Universe & Origin of Structure

Lecture Notes, Exercises I, Exercises II, Exercises III

Lecture 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"