This course prepares the student for state-of-the-art research in galaxy formation and evolution. The course focusses on the physical processes underlying the formation and evolution of galaxies in a LCDM cosmology. Topics include Newtonian perturbation theory, the spherical collapse model, formation and structure of dark matter haloes (including Press-Schechter theory), the virial theorem, dynamical friction, cooling processes, theory of star formation, feedback processes, elements of stellar population synthesis, chemical evolution modeling, AGN, and supermassive black holes. The course also includes a detailed treatment of statistical tools used to describe the large scale distribution of galaxies and introduces the student to the concepts of galaxy bias and halo occupation modeling. During the final lectures we will discuss a number of outstanding issues in galaxy formation, and the students will present and discuss their term paper on a current topic in the field of galaxy formation & evolution.


Lecture hours: T-Th 9.00 – 10.15am,  classroom WTS B60

Office hours: by apointment only (office 52 HH # 320)

Syllabus: Click here for download

Grading:   40% final exam

                       – 30% problem sets

                       – 30% term paper   [List of Topics]

For more information, use the Yale Canvas System.


Problem Sets

  • Problem Set 1 [solutions]
  • Problem Set 2 [solutions]
  • Problem Set 3 [solutions]
  • Problem Set 4 [solutions]