AS 109 - Introduction to Cosmology

Cosmology is a branch of astronomy concerned with the evolution of the universe as a whole. We will be concerned with some of the most fundamental questions that humans can formulate such as ``What is the universe and what is our role in it?'', ``Did the universe have a specific beginning or has it always existed?'', and ``Will the universe as we know it exist forever?''.

Cosmology focuses on the ``big picture'' and is not so concerned with specific objects in the universe (i.e. individual planets, stars, or galaxies). However, we will need to understand the basic nature of many of these objects in order to understand the full modern picture of the origin and evolution of the universe. To do this we will apply the laws of physics as we know them on earth to objects we observe in the universe. The level of physics used in this class will be necessarily qualitative but will encompass many of the basic concepts modern physics, atomic and nuclear physics, elementary particle physics, the nature of the space/time continuum, and the theory of general relativity.

Click HERE to go to the galaxy images for Homework 5