2023-2024 / SPAT0010-1



15h Th, 5h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in space sciences (120 ECTS)2 crédits 


Guillaume Mahler

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The way humans conceive of the Universe depends on scientific advances, but also on the prevailing philosophical conceptions in a given civilisation. We will see how these conceptions of the Universe have evolved over the course of history. We will then see how current science allows us to understand it, from galaxies to the expanding Universe, from the Big Bang to parallel universes. Finally, we will look at the major issues that currently affect the scientific community around cosmology.


Elements of general relativity will be introduced, as well as the symplifying hypotheses allowing to build a cosmological model.  The Robertson-Walker metric and the Friedmann-Lemaître equations will be studied.  Their main consequences will be analysed (redshit, distances...).  The main successes of modern cosmology and its fundamental problems will be discussed.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Understanding of the interaction between the way the human brain evolved and the way we conceive the Universe. Foundations of the scientific method. Basic principles of general relativity and of physical cosmology. Success and problems of modern cosmology.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Theoretical course + discussions.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Face to face if circumstances allow.

Recommended or required readings

Copies of the Powerpoint slides.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Additional information:

Oral exam, 2 or 3 questions.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course




Association of one or more MOOCs