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Courses / Modules / PHYS6071 Physics of the Early Universe

Physics of the Early Universe

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 7
Module lead
Alexander Belyaev
Academic year

Module overview

Since the end of the 1990s, cosmology has experienced one of the most impressive advances among all scientific disciplines. This happened mainly because of astonishing progress in the precision and accuracy of astronomical and cosmological observations resulting in a breathtaking sequence of major scientific discoveries as witnessed by two Nobel Prizes in Physics awarded in this period for discoveries in cosmology: in 2006 to G.F.Smoot and J.C.Mather for the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation anisotropy and in 2011 to S.Perlmutter, B.S.Schmidt and A.G.Riess for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae.

It is now established that the universe experienced an early hot stage where particle physics greatly influenced the properties of the universe and its evolution: this is the early universe stage. This allows to use the universe as a special laboratory of particle physics, double checking results that we found in ground laboratories but even more importantly probing new physics, i.e., physics beyond the Standard Model. Even more excitingly we arrived to the conclusion that today cosmological observations can be only explained extending the Standard Model and, therefore, cosmology represents today one of the greats motivations for beyond the standard model physics. In the module established results, such as recombination and big bang nucleosynthesis, will be discussed together with the solutions to these challenging cosmological puzzles that require new physics.

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: PHYS3007