A Brief Introduction to Cosmology
An introductory review on our present understanding of the beginning and evolution of the Universe will be presented. The role of general relativity, quantum field theory and quantum gravity in the standard inflationary cosmology will be discussed. Particular focus will be given to speculative less-mainstream ideas like holographic gauge/gravity dual models, string-motivated cosmological models, and even what simulations of supersymmetric lattice gauge theories can tell us about cosmology. Finally the topic of how observations can constrain and ground more exotic models will be discussed.