• About SNS

    The Scuola Normale Superiore is a public institute for higher education that in its two centuries of life has earned itself a special place, both in Italy and abroad, a place characterised by merit, talent and scientific rigour. Two types of course are available: the undergraduate course and the PhD course.The teaching activity is distributed among four academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Sciences, placed in Pisa; the Department of political and social sciences and the Ciampi Institute, located in Florence.  

  • Admission

    The evaluation for entrance to the first year of the undergraduate course does not include the high school leaving certificate, and the bachelor's degree is not taken into consideration in the entrance examination for the fourth year course. For each PhD course, candidates’ level of competence, talent, motivations and aptitudes to scientific research will be assessed on the basis of their qualifications and research project and an interview.

  • Academics

    The Scuola Normale Superiore offers two types of course: the undergraduate course, leading to first and second level university degrees, and the PhD course, the international equivalent of the Italian Dottorato di ricerca.The teaching and research activity is distributed among three academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of  Sciences, and the Department of Political and Social Sciences.The first two academic structures, housed at the Pisa site, organize courses for both the  undergraduate course and the PhD course. The Department of Political and Social Sciences, situated in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, deals only with the PhD course.

  • Research

    A highly qualifying feature of the Normale way is the strong link between teaching and research that is a characteristic of both the undergraduate and the graduate programmes of the Scuola. The research structures of the two Faculties welcome students with a relevant study interest, enabling them to collaborate in a mature way with the activities of the researchers.

  • International

    The Scuola Normale is an institute of a decidedly international nature. Examinations for admission to the undergraduate degree course and for the PhD course are open to all citizens worldwide. A certain number of places on the PhD course are reserved for students from other countries. During the pre laurea and  post lauream teaching courses, study and research programmes are made available at overseas universities and research centres with which the Scuola forms an intense network of collaboration.  The doctorate course in particular is taught in a veritable graduate school in line with the highest international standards. 

Introduction to Physical Cosmology

Start date: 
Monday, 6 November 2017
End date: 
Tuesday, 30 January 2018
Total hours: 
Hours of lectures: 

The course is suitable to IV and V year students of the Physics Laurea Course. No specific prerequisites are necessary as the Course will start from the basic cosmological foundations. If required by even a single student, the course will be taught in Englidh.

Course program

Starting from the basic principles of cosmology we will introduce the key kinematic and dynamical properties of the Friedmann cosmological model. We will discuss the treatment of the cosmic recombination process, the linear theory of perturbations and their statistical properties, followed by the study of the non-linear phases of their evoltuion. These issues will be preliminary to the study of galaxy formation and of the large scale structure of the early universe. We will treat in detail the fundamental physical processes governing these cosmic phases, as e.g. radiative processes, the formation and the role of molecules, the radiative transport, shock waves and others. In addition we will devote some attention to the effects of galaxy formation on cosmological scales as cosmic reionization, heavy element enrichment of the intergalactic medium and varioud feedback processes. These topics will be treated with particular focus on their theoretical aspects, but ample space will be given to the implications and critical analysis of the available experimental data. The last part of the course will bring students in close contact with the open problems in the context of current research in the field; in particular the process of cosmic inflation will be discussed in detail. These issues will be further explored during the seminar proposed as a final test.

Bibliographic references
  • Peebles, J., 1993, Principles of Physical Cosmology, Princeton Univ. Press
  • Padmanabhan, T., 1993, Structure Formation in the Universe, Cambridge Univ. Press
  • Ferrara, A., 2006, First Light in the Universe, Saas-Fee Lectures 2006, Springer
  • Mo et al., 2010, Galaxy Formation and Evolution, Cambridge Univ. Press