de | en

Astro Particle Physics 1

Module PH2073

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2018/9 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

available module versions
WS 2018/9WS 2016/7WS 2015/6WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2073 is a semester module in English or German language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 60 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2073 is Tina Pollmann.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This lecture is about the connection between cosmology and particle physics. First, basic cosmological observactions, and the standard model of particle phsyics, are introduced. The most important observable properties of our universe are discussed in light if how they depend on the properties of elementary particles, and how the study of particles of astophysical origin can provide information about the universe. Topics discussed are: The cosmic microwave background, primordial nucleosythesis, and large scale structures. In the second part of the course the dark matter problem is discussed in detail, including candidates and experiments looking for dark matter. Finally, the second part of the course covers the sources of and detectors for cosmic radiation.

In two terms, the winter term and the following summer term, the following topics will be covered

I.     Introduction to cosmology

II.     Introduction to the standard model of particle physics

III.     Cosmological observations

IV.    Dark Matter

V.     Neutrino physics

VI.  Cosmic radiation

VII. Gravitational waves

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of the module the students are able to

  1. describe the standard model of particle physics and its limitations.
  2. explain a number of basic observations that informed our current understanding of cosmology.
  3. explain the influence of elementary particles and their interactions on the evolution and the geometry of the universe.
  4. connect the creation of the light elements and the origin of the cosmic microwave background to the evolution of the universe.


Nuclear and Particle Physics

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The material will be covered in a lecture. Short interactive problems and questions to the students will encourage the students to actively think about the material being covered.

There will be tutorials with conceptional questions and quantitative calcuations. Students should work out all the tutorial problems. It is strongly suggested that the students work on the lecture material before and after each lecture.


Slide presentation, problem sheets.


Bergstrom, Goobar: Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics

Martin, Shaw: Particle Physics

Schneider: Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology

Grupen, Claus: Astroparticle physics

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of about 25 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • What is the origin of the cosmic microwave radiation, and what have we learned from it?
  • Explain how the ratio of hydrogen to helium in the universe is connected to the number of lepton generations.
  • What is an 'open' and a 'closed' universe, and what conditions must be true in each case for the proportion of each type of energy in the universe to the total energy density? How can one measure the geometry of the Universe?

In the exam no learning aids are permitted.

Participation in the tutorials is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.

Remarks on associated module exams

The exam for this module can be taken together with the exam to the associated follow-up module PH2074: Astro Particle Physics 2 / Astroteilchenphysik 2 after the follwoing semester. In this case you need to register for both exams in the following semester.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

Top of page