Boulder Cosmology Group Lecture and Readings List

This is a list of all books and lectures covered or planned to be covered by the group since its inception.
If the year is a link in the list below, clicking on that link will take you to the schedule for that year.

September 2017 – April 2018      24 DVD lectures, “The Quest to Explain All Reality” by Professor Don Lincoln.

September 2017 – November 2017     Cosmic Catastrophes: Exploding Stars, Black Holes, and Mapping the Universe (2nd Edition, 2007), by J. Craig Wheeler.

July 17, and August 14, 2017     Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity, by Carl Rovelli.

May 15, and June 19, 2017     Now: The Physics of Time, by Richard A. Muller.
    For possible tests of Muller's theory that the arrow of time is a result of the expansion of spacetime, see this 10 page paper.

March 2017 – September 2017      24 DVD lectures, “Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time” by Sean Carroll.
     A solution from Steve for the cosmological constant in Einstein's General Relativity Equations: “So Long Dark Energy”.

June 2016 – April 2017     Basic Concepts in Physics: From the Cosmos to Quarks, by Masud Chaichian, H. Perez Rojas, and A. Tureanu.
     “EPR and Bell's Theorem”, clarification from Bill Daniel on Ch. 6's coverage of the Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen Paradox,
     and a paper from Dave on “Concrete Hidden Variables”.
    For Chapter 7, “The Dirac Equation”, from It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science.
    For Chapter 8, a paper from Dave Peterson about the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics for Topology in Exotic Materials.
    For Chapter 10, Roger Penrose essay on “The Einstein Equation of General Relativity”, from It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science.

November 2016 – February 2017      12 DVD lectures, “Black Holes Explained” by University of California, Berkeley Professor Alex Filippenko.
    For Lecture 9 (Wormholes), see this article about a possible connection between entanglement and gravity.

April 18, and May 16, 2016     The Science of Interstellar, by Kip Thorne.

January 2016 – October 2016           View and discuss Mark Whittle's course “Cosmology: The History and Nature of Our Universe” once again (we did it back in 2011).

December 9, 2015   Perimeter Institute's Neil Turok on “The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything”.
If you wish, you can watch this lecture in advance at

November 2015 – March 2016         An Introduction to Modern Cosmology Andrew Liddle.
    Links to notes, derivations, and problem solutions from Boulder Cosmology Group Liddle discussions.

August 2015 – November 2015      12 DVD lectures, “The Higgs Boson and Beyond” by Sean Carroll.

October 19, 2015      Superconductivity: A Very Short Introduction, by Stephen Blundell.
     “More is Different”, an interesting article mentioned in Blundell's conclusion by P.W. Anderson about
broken symmetry and the nature of the hierarchical structure of science (4 pages).

August 17, and September 21, 2015     In search of the ultimate building blocks, by Gerard ’t Hooft and his paper
“The Evolution of Quantum Field Theory from QED to Grand Unification” at

July 20, 2015      Discussion of our own Dave Peterson's paper on “Learning Quantum Mechanics and Relativity” which can be found here (26 pages).

June 15, 2015     ArXiv Paper Discussion: Art Hobson, “There are no particles, there are only fields” at
Suggested supplemental reading: the last half (chapter 6 to end) of Rodney Brooks, Fields of Color.

March 2015 – August 2015      18 DVD lectures, “A Visual Guide to the Universe” by Northwestern University Professor David Meyer.

April 20, and May 18, 2015      The Infinity Puzzle: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe, by Frank Close.

February 23, and March 16, 2015      The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn, by Louisa Gilder.
Also, for Chapter 31, please read this 9 page report from Dave on "Quantum Entanglement - The Aspect Experiment".

December 15, 2014 and January 26, 2015      The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next, by Lee Smolin.

February 2014 – March 2015      Selected DVD lectures from “Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy” by University of California, Berkeley Professor Alex Filippenko.

October 20, and November 17, 2014      Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn: A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything, by Amanda Gefter.

August 18, and September 15, 2014      QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, by Richard P. Feynman. We will also discuss Feynman's 1965 Nobel Lecture (available online).

June 16, and July 21, 2014      The New Quantum Universe, by Tony Hey and Patrick Walters.
For more on the EPR Paradox (discussed on pages 166-172 in the book), see Mermin's 1985 Physics Today article and Pitowsky's 1994 article.
For commentary with a little more math about QM and other topics we've discussed in the group, see Dave's A Stroll Through Physics.

March 17, April 21, and May 19, 2014      The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter, by Helen R. Quinn and Yossi Nir.
A note from Jeff about the book's discussion of Mass States, Flavor States, Mixing, and Neutrino Oscillation.

March 8, 2014      Experimental physicists Bruce Schumm, from UC Santa Cruz, and Steve Wagner, at CU Boulder, answered questions about Dr. Schumm's book Deep Down Things: The Breathtaking Beauty of Particle Physics.

December 16, 2013, January 27, 2014 and February 24, 2014      Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe, by Christopher Hill and Leon Lederman. Book notes from Jeff.

November 13, 27, December 11, 2013, January 22, and February 12, 2014     Selected DVD lectures from Professor David M. Meyer, Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe.

October 23, 2013      A Sean Carroll Cosmology for Particle Physicists lecture at CERN on “Inflation and Beyond” given on May 13, 2005. Useful notes for this series of 5 CERN lectures from TASI lectures given by Carroll in Boulder in 2003.

October 9, 2013      A Sean Carroll Cosmology for Particle Physicists lecture at CERN on “Thermodynamics in the Early Universe” given on May 12, 2005.

September 25, 2013      A Sean Carroll Cosmology for Particle Physicists lecture at CERN on “Dark Energy” given on May 11, 2005.

September 16, 2013, October 21, 2013, and November 18, 2013      The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics, by Leonard Susskind.

August 28, 2013      A Sean Carroll Cosmology for Particle Physicists lecture at CERN on “Dark Matter” given on May 10, 2005.

August 14, 2013      A Sean Carroll Cosmology for Particle Physicists lecture at CERN on “Our Homogeneous and Isotropic Universe” given on May 9, 2005.

July 24, 2013      A Sean Carroll lecture on “Particles, Fields and the Future of Physics”.

July 10, 2013      A Lawrence Krauss lecture on “Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?”.

June 26, 2013      A Leonard Susskind lecture on the Higgs mechanism: “Demystifying the Higgs Boson”. If you want to watch the video in full screen mode, use this link.

June 17, 2013, July 15, 2013, and August 19, 2013       Gravity's Fatal Attraction: Black Holes in the Universe, by Mitchell Begelman and Martin Rees. Note: Professor Begelman attended the July 15 discussion!

April 15, 2013, and May 20, 2013      The Lightness of Being: Mass, Ether, and the Unification of Forces, by Frank Wilczek. Book notes from Jeff.

March 2013 – June 2013      12 DVD lectures, “Black Holes Explained” by University of California, Berkeley Professor Alex Filippenko.

January 7, 2013, February 11, 2013 and March 18, 2013      From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time, by Sean Carroll. Book notes from Jeff. A blog for the book and an article on “Time-Reversal Violation”, both by Sean Carroll.

September 2012 – March 2013      24 DVD lectures, “Dark Matter, Dark Energy: The Dark Side of the Universe” by CalTech Professor Sean Carroll.

September 2012 – December 2012           Deep Down Things: The Breathtaking Beauty of Particle Physics  Bruce Schumm. Study guide from Jeff.

January 2012 – August 2012      24 DVD lectures, “Particle Physics for Non Physicists” by CU Professor Steven Pollock. Supplemental reading: Robert Oerter, The Theory of Almost Everything. An August 2012 update from Dave on developments in particle physics since the Pollock lectures. Some notes on symmetry in particle physics from Bill.

April 2012 – May 3, 2012           Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics  Martinus Veltman. Some notes on Lie groups in physics from Paul and Chela.

January 5, 2012      Two lectures from Satyan Devadoss's DVD lecture series “The Shape of Nature”. These lectures, titled “The Topology of the Universe” and “The Geometry of the Universe”, cover the qualitative and quantitative nature of the shape of the space that makes up our Universe. 

January 2011 – December 2011           View and discuss Mark Whittle's course “Cosmology: The History and Nature of Our Universe”.

September 15, 2011, September 29, 2011, and October 6, 2011      The Magic Furnace: The Search For The Origins Of Atoms  Marcus Chown.
     Paul's printable Chronological Glossary for The Magic Furnace (23 pages). Alphabetical Glossary (16 pages).

April 2011 – May 5, 2011           Einstein's Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe  Evalyn Gates.

February 2010 – December 2010           Gravity: An Introduction to Einstein's General Relativity  James B. Hartle.

June 2009 – January 2010                    Gravity from the Ground Up  Bernard Schutz.

April 2009 – May 2009                     Gravitation and Spacetime   Hans Ohanian and Remo Ruffini.
               Chapters 1 (“Newtonian Gravitation”) and 2 (“Special Relativity”).

January 2009 – March 2009                       The Wraparound Universe  Jean-Pierre Luminet.

October 2008 – December 2008                 Cosmic Jackpot: Why Our Universe is Just Right for Life Paul Davies
              (the paperback edition of this book is called The Goldilocks Enigma).

July 2008 – September 2008                          Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang Steinhardt and Turok.

April 2008 – June 2008                                      The Cosmic Century: A History of Astrophysics and Cosmology Malcolm Longair.

March 2008                                                         Dr. Richard McCray, astrophysicist from CU, gave a talk about supernovae.

January 2008 – February 2008                        Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes Alexei Vilenkin.

September 2007 – December 2007                      Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions  Lisa Randall.

April 2007 – August 2007                                  An Introduction to Modern Cosmology Andrew Liddle.
     A Cosmology Timeline that Paul developed for our Liddle discussion (10 pages).

January 2007 – March 2007                               General Relativity from A to B Robert Geroch.

August 2006 – December 2006                      Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy Kip Thorne.

April 2006 – July 2006               Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension Michio Kaku.

May 2005 – March 2006                              Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe Roger Penrose.

December 2004 – April 2005                           Three Roads to Quantum Gravity Lee Smolin.

June 2004 – November 2004                                          The Fabric of the Cosmos Brian Greene.

September 2003 – May 2004                        The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory Brian Greene.

August 2003                               “Is ‘the theory of everything’ merely the ultimate ensemble theory?” Max Tegmark (arXiv: gr-qc/9704009v2).

April 2003 – July 2003                                                The First Three Minutes Steven Weinberg. [The group's first book.]

For more information, e-mail group leader Jeff Grove:

For one group member's favorites from the above list, see

This is, last updated September 16, 2017.

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