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Cosmology: The Origin, Evolution & Ultimate Fate of the Universe

 

Selected Web Sites on the History of Cosmology

NASA Resources

Cosmic Times Project (from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center):
http://cosmictimes.gsfc.nasa.gov/ (James Lochner and Barbara Mattson have compiled a rich resource of 20th-century cosmology history in the form of news reports on key events)

Shapley-Curtis Debate in 1920: The Scale of the Universe (a nice summary with lesson plan, by Robert Nemiroff & Jerry Bonnell):
http://apod.nasa.gov/diamond_jubilee/debate20.html

Resources from Other Sources

Cosmic Journey: A History of Scientific Cosmology (from the American Institute of Physics Center for the History of Physics): http://www.aip.org/history/cosmology/ (a web “exhibit” on the history of our thinking, with images and biographies)

Edwin P. Hubble: 1938 Bruce Medalist (excellent guide to written and web resources about Hubble’s life & work by Joseph Tenn):
http://www.phys-astro.sonoma.edu/brucemedalists/hubble/Hubble.html

Brief Profile of Georges Lemaitre: http://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/
essaybooks/cosmic/p_lemaitre.html
(from the American Museum of Natural History, an excerpt from the book Cosmic Horizons)

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cosmic epochs

Selected Talks on Cosmology Available on the Web

Marcia Bartusiak: “The Day We Found the Universe” (May 21, 2009; the distinguished science writer discusses Hubble’s work and the discovery of the expansion of the cosmos -- one of the Observatory Night lectures at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics): http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/events/mon_video_archive09.html

Roger Blandford (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center): “The Runaway Universe” (Oct. 26, 2004; public lecture on the discovery and meaning of cosmic acceleration and dark energy): http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/lectures/default.asp?id=lecture_detail&eventID=31

Patricia Burchat (Stanford University): "The Dark Side of the Universe: Dark Matter and Dark Energy" (May 20, 2009 in the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series): http://www.astrosociety.org/education/podcast/index.html#burchat

Sean Carroll (Caltech): “The Origin of the Universe and the Arrow of Time” (Aug. 13, 2010; Google Tech Talk): http://sciencestage.com/v/39811/the-origin-of-the-universe-and-the-arrow-of-time.html

Alex Filippenko (University of California, Berkeley): "Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe" (October 4, 2006 in the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series):
http://www.astrosociety.org/education/podcast/index.html#filippenko

John Mather (NASA Goddard): "From the Big Bang to the Nobel Prize" (Jan. 16, 2009): http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010300/a010370/index.html

Adam Reiss (STScI): “Dark Energy and the Fate of the Universe” (March 7, 2006 at the Space Telescope Science Institute):
https://webcast.stsci.edu/webcast/detail.xhtml?talkid=1961&parent=1

Risa Wechsler (SLAC): “Dark Energy: What the? (or What Is the Universe Made of?)” (Oct. 30, 2007; public lecture on the nature of dark energy and the future of the universe): http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/lectures/default.asp?id=lecture_detail&eventID=14

Ned Wright (UCLA): “Observing the Origins of the Universe: A Century of Progress in Cosmology” (Oct. 28, 2008; UCLA Faculty Research Lecture):
http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=15879

“New Light on Dark Energy” (Apr. 25, 2011 panel on cosmology from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory): http://www.youtube.com/user/BerkeleyLab?
feature=mhum#p/a/u/0/K171B6EvA6c

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Some Cosmology Lab Activities on the Web

stampNASA’s Universe Forum developed a series of “Modeling the Universe” activities which could be adapted to be part of a lab section or a class activity sequence. Generally for grades 8 - 12. See: http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/seuforum/learningresources.htm#lesson

Age of the Universe Activity (U. of Michigan):
http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/undergrad/Labs/cosmo/intro-cosmo.html (This is a college-level lab in which students can see the effect of changing cosmological parameters and can compare the age of the universe in different models.)

Expanding Universe and Balloon Activity (U. of Washington): http://www.astro.washington.edu/courses/labs/clearinghouse/
labs/Expansion/expansion.html
(A short college or high school level activity where you blow up a balloon on which you’ve drawn galaxies and derive a “Hubble Law for balloons.”)

Hubble’s Law Lab (shorter) (U. of Washington): http://www.astro.washington.edu/courses/labs/clearinghouse/
labs/HubbleLaw/hubbles_law_procedure.html
(Derive Hubble’s constant from galaxy data and calculate the Hubble time; for university students.)

Hubble’s Law Lab (longer) (U. of Washington): http://www.astro.washington.edu/courses/labs/clearinghouse/
labs/HubbleLaw/hubbletitle.html
(A longer version of the above lab, which includes more discussion of the nature of galaxies.)

The CLEA Project (Gettysburg College) has two college-level cosmology labs, one on the Hubble Law and one on the large-scale structure of the universe. Go to: http://www3.gettysburg.edu/~marschal/clea/CLEAhome.html and click on the software button.

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