Courses offered by the cosmology group

1) Astrobiology

The aim of the Course is to provide a multi-disciplinary overview on the current state of knowledge about the origin and evolution of Life, from the formation of simple molecules in space to the development of prebiotic complex molecular systems and to the appearance of simple living organisms on Earth. The necessary conditions required for the development of Life in our Galaxy are investigated based on our knowledge about the Solar System. the nature of Life, its development and the modern experimental investigations are presented in terms of the basic molecular ingredients playing an important role in the known metabolic processes occurring in living organisms.

Recommended for: Master and PhD students in Astrophysics, Biology, and Chemistry.
Teachers: Gallerani, Brancato
Course period: November-June of each Academic Year
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2) Experimental and Multi-messenger Astrophysics

This Course aims at giving a comprehensive analysis of the observational techniques in astrophysics. The first part covers the identification and characterization of the first galaxies and quasars formed after the Big Bang, with emphasis given to multi-wavelength observational data obtained with current state-of-the-art observatories (HST, ALMA and Chandra). High-resolution spectroscopy of quasars and gamma-ray bursts is also approached as a probe of the distribution and abundance of ionized, neutral and also molecular gas in the inter and circum-galactic medium. Finally, the class covers the observational techniques used to detect non-thermal emission, astrophysical neutrinos, and gravitational waves.

Recommended for: Master and PhD students in Astrophysics
Teachers: D’Odorico, Stamerra
Course period: November-June of each Academic Year
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3) High performance computing for cosmological applications

This Course aims at studying numerical methods for the solutions of problems in an astrophysical context, in particular focusing on the galaxy formation process on cosmological scales. The class provides a theoretical basis for the numerical integration of the equations of motion for self-gravitating N-body systems, along with the coupling between hydro and radiation dynamics. The numerical algorithms are presented with a particular attention to their scalability, cost, and efficiency, that are needed in order to exploit current high performance computing facilities.

Recommended for: Master students in astrophysics and Phd students
Teachers: Pallottini
Course period: March 01 - June 01 of each Academic Year
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4) Introduction to Physical Cosmology

Starting from physical basic principles, the Course introduces the key kinematic and dynamical properties of the cosmological model, covering the in detail the fundamental physical processes governing the early Universe evolution, as e.g. radiative processes, the formation and the role of molecules, the radiative transport, shock waves. The class aims at providing the theoretical basis for understanding cosmology, the large scale structure of the early universe, and galaxy formation.

Recommended for: Master students in Physics
Teachers: Ferrara
Course period: Nov 01 - Feb 01 of each Academic Year
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5) Frontiers of Cosmology and Astrophysics

The course offers students a broad perspective of the problems in the fields of Astrophysics and Cosmology, accompanied by a more general initial introduction. The most relevant issues and open problems in various sub-areas are presented by internationally renowned experts. Practical applications and cutting edge research are highlighted.

Recommended for: PhD students in Astrophysics
Teachers: Ferrara, Mesinger, External Experts
Course period: Feb 01 - May 01 of each Academic Year
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6) Structure formation in the early Universe

This course covers the formation and evolution of the first galaxies. We begin with a brief introduction to the standard cosmological model and linear perturbation theory. The first half of the course will be devoted to the formation of non-linear dark matter structures. These will be statistically characterized using both analytic models and numerical simulations. In the second half, we will explore the physics governing the collapse of primordial gas and the formation of stars and galaxies. We will learn how these first astrophysical structures interacted with each other and the intergalactic medium. Finally, we will cover some promising observational signatures of the first galaxies and the intergalactic medium.

Recommended for: PhD students
Teachers: Mesinger
Course period: Feb - May of each Academic Year
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