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26. Cosmology. Significance of a dark night sky The Universe is expanding The Big Bang initiated the expanding Universe Microwave radiation evidence of the Big Bang The Universe was initially hot & opaque The importance of the shape of the Universe

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26 cosmology
26. Cosmology
  • Significance of a dark night sky
  • The Universe is expanding
  • The Big Bang initiated the expanding Universe
  • Microwave radiation evidence of the Big Bang
  • The Universe was initially hot & opaque
  • The importance of the shape of the Universe
  • The Universe seems filled with dark energy
  • The Universe’s expansion rate is accelerating
  • Dark matter & dark energy determine the future
significance of a dark night sky
Significance of a Dark Night Sky
  • Physical cosmology
    • Science of the structure & evolution of the Universe
  • One fundamental expectation
    • Universe is large enough to fill the sky with stars
      • Night sky should be filled with light
      • Night sky is not filled with light ⇒ Olber’s paradox
      • The model of an infinite static Universe cannot be correct
  • One possible solution
    • Einstein’s special theory of relativity
      • Distance, mass & time are all relative to all observers
    • Einstein’s general theory of relativity
      • Space is warped by massive objects
      • Einstein introduced the cosmological constant L
        • Introduced to produce the preconceived static Universe
the universe is expanding
The Universe Is Expanding
  • The Hubble law 1920
    • Galaxy clusters are moving away from each other
      • Pervasive galaxy cluster redshift is compelling evidence
      • The Hubble law is a linear relationship
        • Tenfold distance increase ⇒ Tenfold recessional speed increase
    • Expansion of space, not velocity through space
      • Cosmological redshift rather than Doppler redshift
      • Space does not expand in objects tightly bound by gravity
        • Model of solid objects on an inflating balloon
  • One fundamental conclusion
    • The center of expansion cannot be identified
      • Everything is moving away from everything else
      • Every viewing location observes the same expansion
fundamental assumptions
Fundamental Assumptions
  • Assumptions in scientific method
    • Any reasonable assumptions can be made
      • Assumptions are presumed unproveable for some reason
      • Future observations may prove some assumptions invalid
  • Assumptions in cosmology
    • Observations can verify only one Universe
      • Cosmologists imagine but cannot produce other universes
    • The cosmological principle
      • The Universe is assumed to be homogeneous
        • At the largest scale, all regions of space are identical
      • The Universe is assumed to be isotropic
        • At the largest scale, all directions in space look identical
big bang the expanding universe
Big Bang & the Expanding Universe
  • Observational evidence
    • Inverse of the Hubble law
      • In the distant past, the Universe was very small
      • Far enough back, all matter & energy were in one point
      • 1/H0 ⇒ Age of the Universe
        • The Universe began 13.8 Byaif H0= 75 km . sec–1.Mpc
        • This assumes that H0 is now & has always been constant
    • One major problem
      • Stars cannot be older than the Universe
        • Observational evidence suggests this may not be the case
      • Recent evidence may resolve this issue
  • The Big Bang
    • “Cosmic singularity” may be a better term
      • Remarkably similar to the singularity in a black hole
the observable universe
The Observable Universe
  • Expected size of the Universe
    • Almost certainly far larger than what we can see
  • Observational limits
    • We only see as far back as the Universe is old
      • This results from the finite speed of EMR in vacuum
    • Presume the Universe is 13.8 billion years old
      • We can only see objects <13.8 Bly away in all directions
      • This is our cosmic particle horizon
    • As the Universe ages, we see back even farther
microwave radiation as evidence
Microwave Radiation As Evidence
  • The overabundance of He
    • Theoretically, there is too much He in the Universe
      • Can be accounted if the early Universe was extremely hot
      • If so, there should be evidence
        • This would be severely redshifted to ~ 1.1 mm l
  • Cosmic background microwave radiation
    • Penzias & Wilson at Bell Labs Early 1960s
      • Observed microwave background radiation from space
        • This radiation is about 1% the strength of analog TV noise
    • Earth’s atmosphere is largely opaque at 1.1 mm l
      • Satellites are a better option
        • Cosmic Background Explorer (CoBE) 1989
density dominance in the universe
Density Dominance in the Universe
  • Radiation - dominated Universe
    • Prevailed in the earliest stages of the Universe
      • This corresponds to a cosmic redshift of z = 25,000
        • Since then, l’s have been stretched by a factor of 25,000
      • This occurred when the Universe was ~ 2,500 years old
        • EMR had l = 40 nm in the UV part of the spectrum
  • Matter - dominated Universe
    • Prevailed since the Universe was ~ 2,500 years old
      • This may prevail for all time in the future
the universe began hot opaque
The Universe Began Hot & Opaque
  • Basic physical processes
    • High temperatures tend to ionize atoms & molecules
      • Hydrogen has only 1 proton in its nucleus
        • The bond with the 1 electron is therefore relatively weak
      • Hydrogen ionizes at temperatures > 3,000 K
        • This was true for ~ 300,000 years after the Big Bang
    • An ionized gas is called a plasma
      • Plasma interacts very strongly with EMR
        • This makes a plasma opaque
    • Cosmic redshift reduces energy content of EMR
      • Energy is inversely proportional to wavelength
  • Recombination
    • Protons & electrons bind to form neutral hydrogen
      • Misnomer because they were never previously combined
radiation matter in the universe
Radiation & Matter In the Universe
  • Two basic possibilities in the Universe
    • Something is either energy or matter
      • Special relativity: They are two forms of the same entity
  • Two important concepts
    • Universe’s average mass density of radiation today

rrad = 4.6 . 10–31 kg . m–3

Equivalent to 550,000,000 photons per cubic meter

Extremely low energy per severely redshifted photon

    • Universe’s average density of matter today

rm = 2 to 11 . 10–27 kg . m–3

Equivalent to 1 to 6 hydrogen atoms per cubic meter

Extremely high energy per hydrogen atom

before after recombination
Before & After Recombination

Free protons Bound protons

& electrons & electrons

importance of the universe s shape
Importance of the Universe’s Shape
  • Three basic possibilities
    • Positive curvature of space Spherical
      • Two parallel beams of EMR will converge
      • Three-dimensional analog of a sphere
      • The Universe’s expansion rate will decrease
        • The Universe will eventually collapse upon itself
    • Zero curvature of space Flat
      • Two parallel beams of EMR will remain parallel
      • Three-dimensional analog of a plane
      • The Universe’s expansion rate will remain constant
        • The Universe will continue expanding forever
    • Negative curvature of space Hyperbolic
      • Two parallel beams of EMR will diverge
      • Three-dimensional analog of a saddle
      • The Universe’s expansion rate will increase
        • The Universe will continue expanding forever
measuring the universe s shape
Measuring the Universe’s Shape
  • Hypothetical
    • Draw a huge triangle
    • Measure the three angles
  • Practical
    • Count the number of extremely distant galaxies
      • Spherical Concentration is highest nearby
      • Flat Concentration is uniform
      • Hyperbolic Concentration is highest far away
a universe filled with dark energy
A Universe Filled With Dark Energy
  • The observational evidence
    • Temperature variations ⇒ A nearly flat Universe
    • Galaxy clusters ⇒ Matter density Wm= 0.2 to 0.4
      • This clearly suggests a non-flat Universe
  • The tentative conclusion
    • There is substantial dark energy in our Universe
    • Necessarily WL= 0.6 to 0.8
      • Presumed dark energy must be 60 – 80% of the Universe

Dark Matter

Dark Energy

proportions of mass energy


Proportions of Mass & Energy
universe s variable expansion rate
Universe’s Variable Expansion Rate


universe s expansion is accelerating
Universe’s Expansion is Accelerating
  • The observational evidence
    • Type Ia supernovae in distant galaxies
      • A highly reliable standard candle
  • The tentative conclusion
    • The expansion rate of the Universe is increasing

Einstein’s cosmological constant

may be correct after all ! ! !

chapter 28 important concepts
The expanding Universe

How can the sky be so dark?

Stars should be literally everywhere

The Hubble Law (1920)

Space itself is expanding

Concept of the Big Bang

Matter & energy in a very small space

Explosion created space & time

Space expanded faster than light

Expansion of space has slowed down

Evidence for the Big Bang

The cosmological red shift

The cosmic background radiation

Remnants of heat from the Big Bang

Big Bang produced excess helium

Required extremely high temperatures

Milky Way moves amidst CBR

The Great Attractor

Characteristics of the Big Bang

Extremely hot & opaque plasma

The primordial fireball

Hydrogen atoms eventually formed

Temperature < 3,000 K

Universe became transparent

The shape of the Universe

Three major possibilities

Zero curvature = Flat

Positive curvature = Closed

Negative curvature = Open

Two remarkable things

~90% of all matter is “dark”

~80% of all energy is “dark”

The strangest thing yet

Universe’s expansion is accelerating

Chapter 28: Important Concepts