Winter, 2009

This course of the Theoretical Minimum series will concentrate on cosmology, the science of the origin and development of the universe.  Along the way, students will take a close look at the Big Bang, the geometry of space-time, inflationary cosmology, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, dark energy, the anthropic principle, and the string theory landscape.  (Image credit: ESO/MPE/Marc Schartmann)

Lectures in this Course

  1. 1

    Geometry of the expanding universe

    In this lecture Prof Susskind outlines the general structure of the course and the desire to teach the basics of modern cosmology.  We will discuss what do we know now?  We start with the basic big bang theory.  Discuss the three possible versions... [more]
  2. 2

    Newtonian and Friedmann-Robertson-Walker cosmology

    In this lecture Prof Susskind starts with the concepts of Newtonian cosmology.  Discuss the extent to which Newtonian cosmology can extend our understanding of cosmology.  Prof Susskind discusses the connections with the F=ma within cosmology.  This... [more]
  3. 3

    Structure of the universe

    In this lecture Prof Susskind reviews the basic equations of cosmology, and discusses the meaning of these and the implied structure of the universe.  We further discuss dark matter.  Prof Susskind introduces the fact that most of the matter in the... [more]
  4. 4

    Background microwave radiation

    In this lecture Prof Susskind discusses the fact that we are moving thru the background microwave radiation.  He discusses directional bias due to Doppler shifting.  He further discusses that there is a preferred frame of reference for the microwave... [more]
  5. 5

    Cosmological curvature

    In this lecture Prof Susskind discusses the Mathematics of spheres. He discusses a 1-sphere (circle), a 2-sphere (surface of the earth), and a 3-sphere. Prof Susskind discusses how n-spheres can be defined by n parameters.  He presents special... [more]
  6. 6

    Surface of last scattering

    In this lecture Prof Susskind introduces the manifestation of the Universe at different distances, times and places.
  7. 7

    Cosmological inflation

    In this lecture Prof Susskind discusses the idea of Inflation.  Inflation is one of the most important ideas on cosmology.  At the root of much we know and suspect of cosmology. 
  8. 8

    Big omega

    In this lecture Prof Susskind discusses how the geometry of space gets measured.  He presents the concept of “Big Omega” regarding the percentage of energy of different forms.  Prof Susskind further reviews the FRW equations. He further discusses... [more]