8.952 Particle Physics of the Early Universe

Fall 2004

An image of several hundred distant galaxies.
This Hubble Ultra Deep Field image provides a snapshot of the universe as it appeared only 400 million years after the Big Bang. (Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF team.)

Course Highlights

This course features extensive lecture notes and assignments.

Course Description

This course covers the basics of general relativity, standard big bang cosmology, thermodynamics of the early universe, cosmic background radiation, primordial nucleosynthesis, basics of the standard model of particle physics, electroweak and QCD phase transition, basics of group theory, grand unified theories, baryon asymmetry, monopoles, cosmic strings, domain walls, axions, inflationary universe, and structure formation.
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Prof. Frank Wilczek

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session