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Particle Physics and Early Universe


Admission Requirements

Bachelor of Physics with the course Physics of Elementary Particles or a clear equivalent. Recommended Origin and Structure of the Standard Model and Origin and Evolution of the Universe


This course will discuss how particle physics defines physics of the early universe, the subsequent cosmological scenario and the current state of the universe. Starting with basics of the Standard Model of particle physics (SM), we will see how the whole intricate structure of this theory exhibits itself in a hot and dense, quickly expanding universe. We will demonstrate that this allows to use astrophysical and cosmological observational data to check the SM. The next part will discuss the shortcomings of the Standard Model and different approaches to resolve them, as well as implications of this beyond the SM physics for the early universe (most importantly: the nature of dark matter, dark energy, mechanisms of baryogenesis and inflation).


  • Primoridal nucleosynthesis and big bang theory

  • Neutrinos in the early univrese and relic neutrinos at present epoch

  • Dark matter: evidence, DM particles, massive neutrinos as dark matter.

  • Neutrino masses, mixing angle, CP violation

  • DM as beyond the SM physics. Possible properties of non-SM DM particles: WIMPs, super-WIMPs, axions

  • Basic ideas of effective field theory and the structure of the Standard Model of particle physics.

  • Neutrino masses as BSM physics

  • The problem of baryogenesis. Baryogenesis as a beyond SM phenomenon

  • An overview of various beyond SM scenarios and their implications for cosmology.

Course objectives

The course will give an overview of cosmological observations, which are interested for particle physics. Students will obtain practical knowledge in relativistic quantum mechanics, BBN, neutrino physics, dark matter properties calculation.


Physics Schedule
For detailed information go to Timetable in Brightspace

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

See Brightspace

Assessment method

Homeworks – 40%
Written exam – 60%
Final grade is a sum of grades for the homeworks and exam.
Exam can be retaken

Reading list

  • Introduction to the Theory of the Early Universe: Hot Big Bang Theory by D.Gorbunov & V.Rubakov, World Scientific, 2010;

  • Principles of physical cosmology by P.J.E. Peebles, Princeton University Press, 1993; - by J.Garcia-Bellido


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Lecturer: Dr. Alexey Boiarskyi


Transferable skills
You will be able to

  • learn to make a relation between mathematical models and physical systems, in both directions

  • improve you skills of planning time for doing weakly assignments