ASTRO 120

The Big Bang Universe

This course is to introduce you to current state of research on cosmology, the study of the Universe on large scale, its structure and evolution, and current theories on the formation, evolution and fate of the Universe. The great success of the Big Bang theory in explaining the expansion of the Universe, the synthesis of the chemical elements, and the relic radiation leftover from the first moments are reviewed. This is a general education class designed for the non-science students who, after learning the fundamentals of astronomy in Astro 001(GN), 005 (GN) or 010 (GN), want to pursue further the questions of cosmology. The material is presented mostly at a qualitative level. The intended outcome of the course is an appreciation of what we know about the Universe, what the current limits to our understanding are, what the process by which we know and test this is, and what we hope to learn in the future.