Star Cluster

Early Universe Cosmology

November 14 - December 1, 2022

Tuesday and Thursday  -  10:00 - 12:00

Prof. Elisa Gouvêa Mauricio Ferreira

What happened in the first instants of our universe? How did all the we have in the universe was formed? Did the universe have a beginning?

In this minicourse we will present some of the advances in the field of cosmology to answer these questions. We will discuss the most well established and studied models and techniques to explain the first moments of our universe.

This minicourse is an introduction to the cosmology of the very early universe for graduate students that are starting their studies in theoretical cosmology or from correlated fields in theoretical physics. 


The study of the primordial universe uses many topics in theoretical physics like quantum field theory, particle physics, quantum mechanics, general relativity, condensed matter, quantum gravity, among others. The universe, more specific the early universe,  is the perfect laboratory for applying these research fields, so students and researchers from many fields of research in theoretical physics are welcome.


Tentative Schedule

Lesson 1

Overview of the standard cosmological model. [Slides]

Lesson 2

Problems of the SCM. Inflation. [Slides]

Lesson 3

Preheating and reheating.

Theory of cosmological perturbations. Observables in cosmology.

Lesson 4

Problems of inflation. Alternative models: bouncing models and emergent universes

Lesson 5

Gravitational waves. Topological defects in cosmology

Lesson 6

Quantum field theory methods in cosmology. Current topics in early universe cosmology


Main material:

  • Viatcheslav Mukhanov​​, "Physical Foundations of Cosmology​​", Cambridge University Press, 2005

  • Daniel Baumann, "Cosmology", Cambridge University Press, 2022.

Or, notes from the same author:



Scott Dodelson and Fabian Schmidt, "Modern Cosmology", Academic Press; 2nd edition, 2020