The course will cover a number of topics in theoretical cosmology.
(1) How does the SM QFT fit in a cosmological perspective? -- we will see that the vacuum structure of the electroweak sector of the SM is nontrivial and interesting. This will lead us to analyze false vacuum decay in QFT.
(2) How does the SM behave, if we try to extrapolate it backwards to very high temperatures?
(3) Inflation: scalar field dynamics in curved spacetime, classically and at the quantum level. Topics such as causal structure and conformal diagrams; Unruh effect, Hawking, and Hawking-Gibbons radiation will be covered. We will study inflation as the origin of cosmological structure.
(4) Additional topics. Depending on time constraints, we will cover other aspects involving a cosmological perspective on BSM physics: Leptogenesis; axions and the strong CP problem; GUT; dark matter.