BPAA Lecture Series 2003

Lecture 8 - 10

Modern Cosmology

Lecture 8:  Background and history in the 20th Century

Lecture 9: The Cosmic Microwave Background and what it says about the shape and destiny of the Universe.

Lecture 10: The case for dark matter, Supernova Cosmology and the case for dark energy and the Formation of Large Scale Structure


The Once and Future Cosmos, Scientific American Special Edition, December 2002

    Pay particular attention to the introduction by P. James Peebles.

Cosmological Nature of the Universe Debate, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 111, No. 757, March 1999.

    This debate commemorates the 1920 debate between Curtis and Shapely on the nature of the galaxy. It presents the state of cosmology in 1998 from several points of view including Peeble's conservative view that we may have some way to go before we can consider cosmology "solved".

Encyclopedia of Cosmology, Norriss, S. Hetherington, Garland, 1993

    This has both modern and historic multicultural cosmologies.

Physical Principles of Cosmology, P. J. E. Peebles, Princeton, 1993

    This is a very technical, graduate level text.

The Inflationary Universe, Alan H. Guth, Addison Wesley, 1997

    This is a very good introduction to the inflationary theory by it's author. It is also a very readable account of how modern cosmological theorists work and gives some insight into the sociology of big time theoretical physics.

Blind Watchers of the Sky, Rocky Kolb, Addison Wesley, 1996

This is a very readable history of cosmology written by the astrophysicist director of Fermi Lab. I used it as a text in previous lecture series. It has a particularly good section on the development of 20th century cosmology.

Web Resources:

The web is a particularly rich resource for modern cosmology.

Particle Physics Link provides a good introduction to the standard model of elementary particle physics. We will not have a chance to talk about this in class but it is closely connected to big bang cosmology.
Ned Wright’s Tutorial is  an excellent introduction to cosmology and relativity using high school level mathematics. I have drawn on it throughout the lectures on cosmology.
CMB Lecture by Wayne Hu of the University of Chicago is a superb basic intorduction to the significance of the cosmic microwave background. More advanced information is available at his website:
CMB Physics Wu

I have drawn heavily on Wu's material for Lecture 9.

Cosmology Lecture Series is a useful set of slides which accompanied a public lecture series of cosmology.
Barrow Cosmology lecture provides a good non-technical overview of the current state of cosmology
Freedman Cosmology Lecture is similar with emphasis on the results from distant super novae observations
Cosmology Solved? Peebles view
Physics as a Creation Myth II These links provide a light hearted but technically accurate overview.
The Dark matter Tutorial provides a basic introduction to this topic.
Cosmos in a Computer provides information on the application of computers to simulating the formation of structure in the early universe.
Accelerating Universe slideshow provides a fairly technical overview the case for acceleration in the expansion rate of the universe.
Cosmology Research Briefing provides a basic introduction to the central issues in modern cosmology.
Xray clusters provides information on these massive galaxy clusters.
Hi Z SN Search and
Supernova Cosmology Project provide links to the two teams using high red shift Type Ia supernova as standard candles. This work strongly indicates an accelerating expansion of the universe.
SN 1997ff at z = 1.7 explains the significance of the most distant supernova so far identified.
Tom Abel’s first star simulations are very important recent work showing how the first star might have formed.
Guth Lecture II These links let you listen to Alan Guth describing his theory of cosmological inflation.
Max Tegmark's site provides lots of background on both cosmic microwave radiation and on multiverses
Andre Linde's web site provides some insight into his ideas about multiverses and chaotic inflation.
COBE Homepage describes the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite which which confirmed the blackbody nature of the cosmic background and detected the first anisotropies.
Boomerang provides information on the Antarctic balloon measurements of the CMB.
WMAP link describes the latest measurements of the CMB. These results are very significant.
Multipole representation link provides some mathematical background for understanding the multipole representation of the CMB anisotorpies.
What have we already learned from the CMB? This link provides an excellent summary of the impact of the CMB on cosmology and what questions remain.

Wilhelm deSitter biographical link

Friedman biographical link
Slipher biographical link
George Gamow and Gamow link both provide biographical material on this incredible character.
Penzias & Wilson link provides background on the discoverers of the cosmic microwave background.
Doppler Demo3 is a link to an animation explaining the Doppler effect.
We will be meeting at Bainbridge High, Room 311 on May 15 for our last lecture. In this lecture I will discuss the case for dark matter, Supernova Cosmology and the case for dark energy and the Formation of Large Scale Structure

BPAA Lecture Series 2003

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