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Natural Science - Year II

Unit 64: The Origins of the Universe

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Science Weblecture for Unit 64

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Unit 64: Cosmology

For Class



An Expanding Universe

Discoveries in the twentieth century have led astronomers to the conclusion that space itself is expanding as the result of a primordial "Big Bang". The evidence for the initial expansion lies in a faint background radiation. But whether this expansion can continue indefinitely depends on a number of factors, including how fast the universe is expanding now, and how much matter there is in the universe — questions for which we don't know the answer!

Read Nick Stroebel's summary of "Cosmology", through the section on Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (three pages, not counting the section review). You can read further if you like!

  • What was Obler's paradox?
  • What is the evidence for the universe expanding?
  • What is the "cosmological principle"?
  • What is the 3K background radiation?
  • How does this radiation imply an original "big bang" as the start of the univers?

Study/Discussion Questions:

On your own