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Large Scale Structure and Galaxy Formation



How galaxies and the structure of the Universe forms is one of the most fundamental questions in extra-galactic astronomy. It is also an area that has seen tremendous progress over the last 30 years, but at the same time it has constantly been challenged by ever-improving observational data. This course will introduce you to this fascinating subject and introduce you to the physics of the formation of the largest structures in the Universe. The course will cover the growth of structure in the Universe and how the large-scale structure and galaxies form. Topics that will be covered include: the physics of linear growth and non-linear collapse, clustering and biasing, angular momentum and its influence on galaxy formation, cooling, star formation and feedback processes, the intergalactic medium and the formation of the first structures. The course will also present recent results and controversies in the field. The course will start with a brief refresher on cosmology but it is expected that the student has had exposure to cosmology, in particular the course builds on the autumn 2011 MSc cosmology course. Problem classes will be given and considered an integral part of the course.

Programme form



The course content will be defined by lecture notes, but we will make use of the recent book “Galaxy formation and Evolution”, Hojun Mo, Frank van den Bosch & Simon White (ISBN 978-0-521-85793-2) for part of the course, but that book covers more material than we are able to cover in one semester. The main chapters are 5-9, 11, 12, 15-16.
Other books that are useful for the course include: “Theoretical astrophysics, Vol 3: Galaxies and cosmology”, T. Padmanabhan (ISBN: 0521566304), “Galaxy Formation”, Malcolm S. Longair (ISBN 978-3-540-73477-2), “Cosmological physics”, John Peacock (ISBN 0 521 42270 1), “The early Universe”, Edward W. Kolb & Michael S. Turner (ISBN: 0201626748)


Astronomy Schedule


Written exam on 5 June 2012


BSc courses Galaxies and Cosmology (Sterrenstelsels en Kosmologie) and Radiative Processes (Stralingsprocessen), MSc course Origin and Evolution of the Universe.

More information

Lecturer: Dr. J. (Jarle) Brinchmann
Assistant:MSc M. (Marco) Velliscig

Course website