PHYS 432/532 Cosmology (2015-2016)

Welcome to Cosmology! Cosmology is the study of the universe taken as a whole. In this class, we will explore the range of possible universes -- how they are born, how they evolve, distance and time-scale within them, and how they might end. We will also look at our universe in particular. What are the parameters that govern our universe? How do we measure them? How is our universe ``fine-tuned'' to allow for life as we know it?

This is a not terribly exciting webpage for our incredibly exciting cosmology course this winter. I'll post all sorts of things here, like links, images, homework assignments (should you be foolish enough to miss the classes in which I hand them out), and announcements.

[Course Information] [Announcements] [Material and Links]

Course Information

[Syllabus] - This contains a complete discussion of the course policies (Version: 1/4/16).

Prof. Dave Goldberg (
Office: Disque Hall Room 810
Phone: x2715
Office Hours: MW 12-1, F 10-11 or by appointment in advance

Mr. Michael Schlenker (
Office: Disque Hall Room 808

T,Th 9:30-11am, Disque 919

Introduction to Cosmology by Barbara Ryden.
I will also supplement with handouts as needed.


  • The midterm exam will be Tuesday, February 9, during the regular class period. The exam will be comprehensive and will include everything discussed in class up to and including material from February 4. I also strongly recommend you read Ryden Chapters 1-8, and 9.1-9.3. Some of the more important topics we've covered include:
    • The Cosmological Principle
    • The Friedmann Equation
    • Cosmological Models
    • Comoving, proper, angular, and luminosity distances
    • Observations in a curved universe
    • Cosmological tests
    • Measuring fundamental parameters
    • The timeline of the universe
    This list is not comprehensive. The exam will consist of 3-5 problems similar in style to those I've given you on the homework. As a help, please take a look at some old exams: Except for the equation sheet, below, the exam will be entirely closed book. You may bring a calculator, but are expected to use it only for basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) only.
  • 2/10/16: [Midterm Solution Key]

Materials and Links

Homework Assignments


Supplementary Links, Papers, and Data