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PH30111: Galaxies and introduction to cosmology

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2019/0
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must take AT LEAST 1 MODULE FROM {PH20013, PH20060} AND take AT LEAST 1 MODULE FROM {PH20014, PH20061} AND take AT LEAST 1 MODULE FROM {PH20016, PH20076, PH20106, PH20114} AND take AT LEAST 1 MODULE FROM {PH20029, PH20067}
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
This unit aims to explore our place in the universe, beginning by reviewing the observational evidence that distant nebulae are in fact 'island universes' or galaxies separated by vast tracts of empty space. It presents students with a picture of our own galaxy formed by combining observational data with elegant yet simple mathematical models, and explores the distribution, morphology, formation and evolution of galaxies in general. The unit also aims to develop students' understanding of the 'concordance model' of cosmology.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit the student should be able to:
* explain the main developments in our understanding of our place in the universe;
* describe the geometrical arguments and observations that indicate differential rotation in the Milky Way Galaxy (MWG);
* describe the taxonomy of galactic morphology and give plausibility arguments to explain the spread of morphological types;
* discuss evidence for the existence of Dark Matter based on observations of galaxy rotation curves;
* explain mathematically how we can estimate the masses of individual galaxies and clusters of galaxies;
* describe simple models for the chemical evolution of galaxies;
* explain the basic physics of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN);
* describe evidence for the presence of supermassive black holes and their relation to galaxies;
* describe how galaxies map out the large scale structure of the universe;
* derive a mathematical model of the universe based on Newtonian physics;
* explain mathematically the key concepts of relativistic cosmological models;
* show how Dark Matter may be used to explain the beginnings of structure formation in the universe;
* discuss modern observational results and the concordance model of cosmology.

Skills:
Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.

Content:
Galactic astrophysics (3 hours): Historical Overview. The cosmic distance ladder. Our Milky Way Galaxy: structure & components, galactic rotation.
Galaxies in situ (4 hours): The masses of galaxies. Galaxy classification. Galaxy dynamics. Dark matter in galaxies. Star formation and chemical evolution.
alaxies and their environment (4 hours): Interactions. Environmental dependence of galaxy demographics. Galaxy clusters. The intergalactic medium.
Active Galactic Nuclei (4 hours): Classification of AGNs. Black hole physics. Evidence for supermassive black holes. Galaxy-black hole co-evolution.
Cosmology (4 hours): Newtonian cosmology - Hubble's Law; the cosmic scale factor. Relativistic cosmology - Friedmann models. Observational cosmology - cosmological parameter and how they are constrained (SN Ia, cosmic microwave background, Large Scale Structure); dark energy and the accelerating Universe; the concordance model of cosmology.
Galaxy formation in a ΛCDM cosmology (3 hours): A brief cosmic history. Galaxy formation models.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH30111 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USPH-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AAB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AFM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Research placement (Year 3)
  • USPH-AKM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)

PH30111 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Physics
  • USXX-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 3)
  • USXX-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USXX-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 3)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 3)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 4)
  • USXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 3)
  • USXX-AAM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USXX-AKM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 4)

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