Cosmology is the science of the nature, history and origin of the Universe. The subject deals with some of the most basic and fundamental questions that it is possible to ask: How big is the Universe? Does it have a beginning and end? How much matter is in the Universe and what form does this matter take?
Where did the galaxies and clusters of galaxies come from and how does this problem relate to the properties of the Universe at early times?

Researchers at Astrophysics Research Institute of Liverpool JMU study cosmology and the related discipline of galaxy evolution, for example, working on numerical simulations to predict the number density of galaxy clusters in the universe, and measuring how the mass in the universe is distributed
between galaxies and the inter-galactic medium. This module will give an overview of theoretical and observational cosmology, as well as an introduction to up-to-date cosmological measurements concerning the constituents, galaxies and clusters of galaxies, of the universe. The field has progressed dramatically in the last twenty years such as the observational measurements showing that the majority of the energy density of the universe is the form of "dark energy".

Topics covered in the module:

- Assumptions underlying modern cosmology.
- Galaxies, clusters and superclusters.
- Euclidean and curved spaces.
- Expansion and the Hubble law.
- Cosmological angular diameter-distance and luminosity-distance relations.
- Dynamical evolution.
- Critical density and Omega values.
- The age of the Universe.
- The distance scale and standard candles.
- Evidence for dark matter and dark energy.
- Cosmic Background Radiation, aka. Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).
- Brief history of the Universe from the Planck time to the present day.
- Inflation.
- The History of Structure.
- Density fluctuations at early times and in the CMB.
- Hot and cold dark matter.
- Gravitational lensing.
- Flux and redshift measurements of galaxies.
- Clustering seen in various surveys.
- Evolution in luminosity and number density of galaxies.
- X-ray cluster surveys.
- Latest understanding of galaxy evolution.

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