AstroShop Support Resources Education Events Publications Membership News About Us Home
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific


   home > education > resources


Education Topics:







  The Universe in
the Classroom
    Articles on
Education from Mercury
    Other Articles on Education  
  Selected Topical Bibliographies  
      Astronomy Education Bibliography  
      Environmental Issues and Astronomy  
      Women in Astronomy  
      Astronomical Pseudo-Science  
      Moon Resource Guide  
      Science Fiction with Good Astronomy  
      SETI Messages Bibliography  
      Astronomy of Many Cultures Resource Guide  
      Galileo: The Man and His Science  
      Black Holes: An Introductory Resource List  
    Weblinks for
    Astronomy Education Review  
    Space Science Education Resource Directory  

Contact Us


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



Overview Articles

stampKruesi, L. “Cosmology: 5 Things You Need to Know” in Astronomy, May 2007, p. 28. Five questions students often ask, and how modern cosmologists answer them.

Lineweaver, C. & Davis, T. “Misconceptions about the Big Bang” in Scientific American, Mar. 2005, p. 36. Some basic ideas about modern cosmology clarified, using general relativity.

Pendrick, D. “Is the Big Bang in Trouble?” in Astronomy, Apr. 2009, p. 48. This sensationally titled article is really more of a quick review of how modern ideas and observations are fleshing out the big bang hypothesis (and raising questions.)

Turner, M. “The Origin of the Universe” in Scientific American, Sep. 2009, p. 36. An introduction to modern cosmology.

Wakeley, S. “The Universe is in the Details” in Astronomy, Sep. 2006, p. 42. 5-page overview of how particle physics can assist cosmology.

table of contents

Articles about Dark Energy and Acceleration

Appell, D. “Dark Forces at Work” in Scientific American, May 2008, p. 100. A profile of Nobel laureate Saul Perlmutter, the leader of one of the teams whose work with supernovae led to the discovery of the universe’s acceleration.

Carroll, S. “Dark Energy & the Preposterous Universe” in Sky & Telescope, Mar. 2005, p. 32. 7-page review; explains the observations and gives candidates for the source of dark energy.

Conselice, C. “The Universe’s Invisible Hand” in Scientific American, Feb. 2007, p. 34. An introduction to dark energy and the effects it has on the structure and evolution of the universe.

Krauss, L. & Turner, M. “A Cosmic Conundrum” in Scientific American, Sep. 2004, p. 70. On Einstein’s cosmological constant, the acceleration of the universe, and dark energy.

Kruesi, L. “Will Dark Energy Tear the Universe Apart?” in Astronomy, Feb. 2009, p. 34. On how acceleration will determine the ultimate fate of the universe.

Nadis, Steve “Tales from the Dark Side: Understanding Dark Energy” in Astronomy, Sep. 2006, p. 30. Five page overview.

Panek, R. “Going Over to the Dark Side” in Sky & Telescope, Feb. 2009, p. 22. A history of the observations and theories about dark energy.

Riess, A. & Turner, M. “From Slowdown to Speedup” in Scientific American, Feb. 2004, p. 62. On observations of supernovae and what they tell us about the acceleration of the universe’s expansion.

table of contents

Articles about Inflation

stampBucher, M. & Spergel, D. “Inflation in a Low-Density Universe” in Scientific American, Jan. 1999, p. 62. On new and improved inflation theories.

Ferris, T. “Inflating the Cosmos” in Astronomy, July 1997, p. 38. On the inflationary hypothesis.

Guth, A. and Steinhardt, P. “The Inflationary Universe” in Scientific American, May 1984, p. 116. Early report from the scientist who came up with the idea.

Nadis, S. “Sizing Up Inflation” in Sky & Telescope, Nov. 2005, p. 32. Nice review of the origin and modern variants on the inflationary idea.

table of contents

Articles about the Study of the Cosmic Microwave Background

Bennett, C., et al. “A Cosmic Cartographer” in Scientific American, Jan. 2001, p. 44. A brief preview of the MAP mission to examine details of the cosmic microwave background (later renamed WMAP).

Caldwell, R. & Kamionkowski, M. “Echoes from the Big Bang” in Scientific American, Jan. 2001, p. 38. On studying the details of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Dorminey, B. “Europe’s Space Revolution” in Astronomy, Sep. 2008, p. 28. Preview of Herschel and Planck missions and how they will study the CMB.

Hishaw, G. & Naeye, R. “Decoding the Oldest Light in the Universe” in Sky & Telescope, May 2008, p. 18. How the WMAP mission uses acoustic waves in the CMB to probe the structure of the early universe.

Hu, W. & White, M. “The Cosmic Symphony” in Scientific American, Feb. 2004, p. 44. On oscillations in the early universe and how we can learn about them from the microwave background. (On the Web at: )

Starkman, G. & Schwarz, D. “Is the Universe out of Tune?” in Scientific American, Aug. 2005, p. 48. On discrepancies between the theory and observations of the harmonics of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

table of contents

Articles about Dark Matter

Bartusiak, M., et al. “The New Dark Age of Astronomy” in Astronomy, Oct. 1996, p. 36. A special issue focusing on the theory and observations of dark matter.

Kruesi, L. “What do We Really Know about Dark Matter?” in Astronomy, Nov. 2009, p. 28. Focuses on what dark matter could be and experiments to find out.

table of contents

Articles about Other Specific Topics in Modern Cosmology

Burgess, C. & Quevedo, F. “The Great Cosmic Roller Coaster Ride” in Scientific American, Nov. 2007, p. 52. On inflation, brane theory, multiverses, string theory and new ideas to help understand the properties of the cosmos.

Carroll, Sean “The Comic Origins of Time’s Arrow” in Scientific American, June 2008, p. 48. The direction of time in the universe, entropy, and the notion of a much larger scope for the universe.

Dorminey, B. “Where Has All the Lithium Gone?” in Astronomy, Feb. 2011, p. 42. What we can learn about the early stages of the universe from the abundance of this light element.

Dorminey, B. “What Triggered the Big Bang?” in Astronomy, Oct. 2011, p. 25. Some of the ideas about eternal inflation and cyclic universe models.

Frank, A. “How the Big Bang Forged the First Elements” in Astronomy, Oct. 2007, p. 32. On how the hot phase of the big bang synthesized elements, and what their abundance today can tell us about the properties of the universe.

Frank, A. “The First Billion Years” in Astronomy, June 2006, p. 30. On the early eras in cosmic history and the formation of structure.

Hellemans, A. “Understanding Antimatter” in Astronomy, Aug. 2011, p. 24. On the discovery of antimatter and its relationship to cosmology.

Jayawardhana, Ray “Does Antimatter Matter?” in Astronomy, Dec. 2006, p. 30. On how matter came to dominate in the early universe.

Krauss, L. & Starkman, G. “The Fate of Life in the Universe” in Scientific American, Nov. 1999, p. 58. Cosmology, thermodynamics, and the far future.

Larson, R. & Bromm, V. “The First Stars in the Universe” in Scientific American, Dec. 2001, p. 64. On the “dark ages” after the big bang and before stars formed, and how they ended.

Loeb, A. “The Dark Ages of the Universe” in Scientific American, Nov. 2006, p. 47. Using radio arrays to look back to the period after the big bang faded.

Nadis, S. “Searching for the Shape of the Universe” in Astronomy, Apr. 2008, p. 28. On string theory, branes, additional dimensions and their implications for cosmology.

Nadis, S. “The Big Bang Plus 1 Second” in Astronomy, Apr. 2007, p. 38. On the search for the cosmic neutrino background from the big bang.

Riordan, M. & Zajc, W. “The First Few Microseconds” in Scientific American, May 2006, p. 34. Experiments to reproduce conditions right after the big bang.

Strauss, M. “Reading the Blueprints of Creation” in Scientific American, Feb. 2004, p. 54. On large-scale surveys of galaxies and what they tell us about the organization of the early universe.

table of contents

Articles about New Ideas in Cosmology

Ambjorn, J., et al. “The Self-Organizing Quantum Universe” in Scientific American, July 2008, p. 42. On new ideas in quantum gravity and how the universe could assemble from quantum components. Mostly physics.

Arkani-Hamed, N., et al. “The Universe’s Unseen Dimensions” in Scientific American, Aug. 2000, p. 62. On grand unified theories of physics, dimensions, and parallel universes.

Barrow, J. & Webb, J. “Inconstant Constants: Do the Inner Workings of Nature Change with Time?” in Scientific American, June 2005, p. 56. Possible astronomical evidence that the fine-structure constant has changed over cosmic periods.

Bojowald, M. “Follow the Bouncing Universe” in Scientific American, Oct. 2008, p. 44. On theories of quantum gravity, and a universe that may have had events before the big bang.

Clifton, T & Ferreira, P. “Does Dark Energy Really Exist?” in Scientific American, Apr. 2009, p. 48. Posits another explanation for the Type Ia supernova observations: that the universe is seriously inhomogeneous.

Dorminey, B. “What Triggered the Big Bang?” in Astronomy, Oct. 2011, p. 24. “Next-generation” ideas about what came before the beginning of our universe.

Nadis, S. “How We Could See Another Universe” in Astronomy, June 2009, p. 24. On modern ideas about multiverses and how such bubbles of space-time might collide.

Steinhardt, P. “Why the Universe Had No Beginning” in Astronomy, Apr. 2009, p. 28. On brane theory and the author’s “cyclic universe” ideas.

Tegmark, M. “Parallel Universes” in Scientific American, May 2003, p. 40. Ideas about a “multiverse”: physical theories that permit or demand other universes.

Veneziano, G. “The Myth of the Beginning of Time” in Scientific American, May 2004, p. 54. Ideas from string theory about space, time, and branes that pre-date the big bang.

table of contents

Articles about Understanding Cosmological Distances

Dodelson, S. “Seeing the Red Limit: How Astronomers Measure Cosmic Distances” in Astronomy, May 2007, p. 40. Redshift, lookback time, co-moving distance, scale factor, etc.

Corwin, M. & Wachowiak, D.: "Lookback Time: Observing Cosmic History" in Physics Teacher, Oct. 1989, p. 518. On the effect cosmological models have on the scales of space and time.

table of contents

A Few Articles about the History of Cosmology

Bartusiak, M. “The Cosmologist Left Behind” in Sky & Telescope, Sep. 2009, p. 30. On V. M. Slipher and his measurements of galaxy motions.

Brush, S. “How Cosmology Became a Science” in Scientific American, Aug. 1992, p. 62. By a noted historian.
Christianson, G. “Mastering the Universe” in Astronomy, Feb. 1999, p. 60. Brief introduction to Hubble’s life and work.

Golden, F. “Astronomy’s Feisty Old Man” in Astronomy, Dec. 1997, p. 54. A profile of Allan Sandage and his work in pinning down the Hubble constant.

Naze, Y. “The Priest, the Universe, and the Big Bang” in Astronomy, Nov. 2007, p. 40. On the life and work of Georges Lemaitre.

Osterbrock, D. "Edwin Hubble and the Expanding Universe" in Scientific American, July 1993, p. 84.

Smith, R. "The Great Debate Revisited" in Sky & Telescope, Jan. 1983, p. 28. On the Shapley-Curtis debate concerning the nature of galaxies and the scale of the cosmos.

table of contents

Papers and Articles on Teaching Cosmology

Lightman, A. & Miller, J. “Contemporary Cosmological Beliefs” (1989) in Social Studies of Science, vol. 19, p. 127.

Miller, E. “The Gender Gap in Cosmology: Results from a Small Case Study of Undergraduates” in Astronomy Education Review, vol. 1, no. 2, p. 35:

Prather, E., et al. “Hints of a Fundamental Misconception in Cosmology” in Astronomy Education Review, vol. 1, no. 2, p. 28:

Wallace, Colin An Investigation into Introductory Astronomy Students’ Difficulties with Cosmology, and the Development, Validation, and Efficacy of a new Suite of Cosmology Lecture-Tutorials. 2011, PhD dissertation, University of Colorado. On line at:
(see also a brief summary at: )

table of contents


<< previous page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

home | about us | news | membership | publications

events | education | resources | support | astroshop | search

Privacy & Legal Statements | Site Index | Contact Us

Copyright ©2001-2012 Astronomical Society of the Pacific