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Topics in Theoretical Physics


Admission Requirements



Modern Cosmology

A course on Modern Cosmology and its open challenges, with particular focus on approaches to cosmic acceleration and prospects of testing for them with Large Scale Structure (i.e. distribution of clustered matter).
Topics covered will include: elements of Modern Cosmology; linear perturbation theory - structure formation; probes of inhomogeneities, e.g. galaxy clustering and weak lensing; beyond the standard model of cosmology: dark energy and modified gravity; cosmological tests of gravity.

Course objectives

The students will become familiar with the standard model of Cosmology, open challenges and alternatives to the standard model of Cosmology that address these challenges, with particular focus on the phenomenon of cosmic acceleration. Approaches to the latter phenomenon include dark energy and modified gravity models and the course will provide an up to date overview of them, and of how to use Large Scale Structure to test gravity on cosmological scales. All this will be presented in connection with the ongoing and upcoming major international cosmological missions.


Physics Schedule

Mode of instruction

There will be blackboard lectures, with occasional use of slides, to provide background knowledge for each topic. Students will be involved very actively, with part of the lectures consisting in presentations from them on advanced material that will be provided.

Assessment method

Assessment and grading method (in percentages):
Please choose one or more options from the following:

Part a: Take-home essay on a scientific article related to one of the topics of the course . Choices will be provided by the lecturer. (40%)
Part b: Oral presentation on advanced material provided by the lecturer for one of the topics covered in class. (60%)
NO re-take opportunity for part a nor for part b.


Blackboard will be used to offer additional reading material and possible notifications about the course
To have access to Blackboard you need a ULCN-account.Blackboard UL

Reading list

Main reference books: Dark Energy, Theory and Observations, L. Amendola and S. Tsujikawa; Modern Cosmology, S. Dodelson.
Additional reading material will be provided through blackboard.
While consulting these books is recommended, and is likely to help you understand and apply the material offered in the course, they also contain much additional material that goes beyond the course and will not be examinated


Contactgegevens Docent:Dr.Alessandra Silvestri