Astronomy 6: Introductory Cosmology

Prof. David Cohen

Fall 2013 (second half of the semester only)
Wed., Fri. 2:00 to 3:15
SC 128


Scale Factor     Bullet Cluster     Planck constraints





Update (Dec. 14): See below, in the Assignments section, for a summary of Wednesday's class.

Soon: notes for all previous classes, study questions, information about the exam. Update (Dec. 16): Now all homework solutions, study questions, and class notes are available below. Information about the exam itself will be posted later today. Another update: And now the information about the exam is posted, below, too.

Archive of old announcements


Update (Dec. 16): All your homework assignments etc. have been graded and are ready for you to pick up in the box outside my door. My solutions for homeworks 2 and 3 are there too. Please pick them up, look them over, and let me know if you have any questions.

Another thing you should be looking over is this annotated syllabus, with a set of questions and concepts for each week. The are listed in italics under each week's topics. Use these to review and study for the final exam.

I made my notes from our last class available to you last week (see Old Assignments page, linked below). Now I have scanned all my class notes. They're in separate pdfs in this directory. You can use these for reviewing and studying, and again, let me know if you have any questions. For some classes the notes are extensive while for others they are sparse; in the latter case, there likely were a lot of slides shown in that class and you'll find a link on the Old Assignments page.

Update (Dec. 16): The final exam will be open book - you can use the textbook, articles I've assigned you, your own notes, my notes, handouts from class — anything except the internet. You should bring a calculator; you will not be allowed to use your phone or any other type of internet-enabled computer. The questions on the exam will generally require a couple of sentences to answer. A subset of the questions will involve math, but less so than the homework. Finally, you can take the exam anytime through Saturday. But, you must let me know ahead of time when you want to take it. Then, when the time comes, you'll come to my office, pick up the exam, and take it then and give it back to me three hours later. Please try to give me at least 12 hours notice when you decide when to take the exam.

Archive of old assignments

Upcoming Events

Check the departmental colloquium schedule (we should have some talks listed there by the beginning of the semester). You should come to these talks. They are typically Friday at 12:30 in Rm. 199, and include free pizza. In addition, U. Penn cosmologist Mark Trodden gave a talk, sponsored by Sigma Xi, on Tuesday, December 3, at 4:30 pm.

There are telescope public viewings the second Tuesday of each month, at the Peter van de Kamp Observatory on the roof of the Science Center. The next one is on January 14, at 8 PM.


Class Information

Dec. 1: A syllabus is now posted [pdf]
office hours

Cosmology Resources

Ned Wright's (UCLA) cosmology tutorial

Cosmologist Sean Carroll (Caltech) has an interesting website and TED talk (on time, entropy, and the early Universe) and lots of other talks


Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy library guide

astronomical constants and data

what's up in the sky this week

sky and weather information

department website



This page is maintained by David Cohen
cohen -at-

Last modified: December 16, 2013