Lectures: We 12-14 and Th 14-16 (Physicum A315)
Exercises: Th 12-14, A315
This is an advanced course on the physics of the cosmic microwave background.
The course is aimed at cosmology graduate students interested in the cosmic
microwave background and what it can tell us about cosmology.
This topic is very timely due to the ongoing WMAP satellite observations,
and the Planck satellite, which will be launched in fall 2008.
The lecturer and assistant are members of the Planck satellite project.
Prerequisites (recommended): Statistical Physics I, Cosmology I+II, General Relativity. Knowledge of general relavity is essential for being able to understand the course. If you haven't taken Cosmology I+II, you could read Chapters 2, 3, 4 (luminosity distance not needed), 5, Sections 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, and 11.6, and the beginning of Chapter 12 of my Cosmology lecture notes, available from the Cosmology homepage. (We'll be redoing Chapter 12 material at a deeper level in this course.) From Statistical Physics we need the concepts of a distribution function (in 1-particle phase space) and Boltzmann equations. If you don't know these, you'll learn them here.
Contents: Cosmological perturbation theory.
Scalar, vector, and tensor perturbations. Gauges. Cosmic microwave background.
Anisotropy. Polarization. Stokes parameters. Temperature and polarization
angular power spectra. Boltzmann equations. Line-of-sight integration.
Initial conditions. Primordial power spectra. Transfer functions.
Physics of the CMB angular power spectra.
Effect of cosmological parameters.
The course does not follow any textbook, although some material will be from S. Dodelson: Modern Cosmology (Academis Press 2003). Lecture notes (in English) will be made available.
 S. Dodelson: Modern Cosmology (Academic Press 2003). Errata. (In the reference library)
 A.R. Liddle and D.H. Lyth: Cosmological Inflation and Large-Scale Structure (Cambridge University Press 2000), Chapters 14 and 15. Check the errata!
 C.-P. Ma and E. Bertschinger: Cosmological Perturbation Theory in the Synchronous and Conformal Newtonian Gauges, ApJ 455, 7 (1995). You can get it from NASA ADS.
 W. Hu and M. White: CMB anisotropies: Total angular momentum method, PRD 56, 596 (1997) , A CMB Polarization Primer, astro-ph/9706147 (the first article has the math, the second one provides some illustration)
 P. Cabella and M. Kamionkowski: Theory of Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization, astro-ph/0403392
Homework 8 (the last one!)
The above angular power spectrum projections (TT, TE, EE, and BB) for Planck are from the Planck Bluebook, available at the Planck Science Team Home page.