Due date: Mar.27 @2PM.
Describe the cosmological story of our universe in terms of modern theoretical physics. Spend most of your discussion on the evolution of the universe (about 75%); spend the remainder (about 25%) on describing possibilities for the origin and ultimate fate of our universe. Focus on creating a coherent
big picture of Big Bang Cosmology as well as focusing on individual relevant facts.
You may draw upon any facts which you learned throughout the course so far, but the most useful and relevant lecture material is from the past two weeks on Cosmology.
Note: I am deliberately allowing you some leeway in choosing which pieces of physics to emphasize in this essay. You have earned this privilege by now! If you are in any doubt about what to emphasize, please use my Cosmology lecture notes as a guide. You will also find useful the following set of cosmology links.
loop quantum gravityand the like.
Alternativemodels: they are weirdly chosen, and not relevant to our course.
Decoding the oldest Light in the Universe; Sky & Telescope, May 2008; 18-23 pp., by Gary Hinshaw and Robert Naeye.
Cosmology books for laypeople (mostly from a list put together by WMAP)
The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe(1977) is brilliant. The only disadvantage is that it was written in the seventies and so the material is dated: there have been many important cosmological discoveries since then.
A Brief History of Timeby Stephen Hawking (1988)
The Extravagant Universe: Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Cosmosby Robert P. Kirschner (2002)
Quarks, Leptons and the Big Bangby Jonathan Allday
The Accelerating Universe : Infinite Expansion, the Cosmological Constant, and the Beauty of the Cosmosby Mario Livio
One Universe: At Home in the Cosmosby Neil De Grasse Tyson, et al
The Inflationary Universe: The Quest for a New Theory of Cosmic Originsby Alan H. Guth
Measuring the Universe: Our Historic Quest to Chart the Horizons of Space and Timeby Kitty Ferguson
Echo of the Big Bang(discusses the WMAP Mission) by Michael D. Lemonick
Just Six Numbers : The Deep Forces that Shape the Universeby (Sir) Martin J. Rees
How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Spaceby Janna Levin
The Five Ages of the Universe : Inside the Physics of Eternityby Fred Adams, Greg Laughlin
Before the Beginning : Our Universe and Othersby (Sir) Martin J. Rees
In Search of the Edge of Time : Black Holes, White Holes, Wormholesby John Gribbin
The Sky Is Not The Limit : Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicistby Neil De Grasse Tyson
The Little Book of the Big Bang : A Cosmic Primerby Craig J. Hogan
Astrophysical Conceptsby Martin Harwit
The Very First Light : The True Inside Story of the Scientific Journey Back to the Dawn of the Universeby John C. Mather, John Boslough
Afterglow of Creation : From the Fireball to the Discovery of Cosmic Ripplesby Marcus Chown
After the First Three Minutes : The Story of Our Universeby T. Padmanabhan
The Whole Shebang : A State-Of-The-Universe(s) Reportby Timothy Ferris
Astronomy For Dummiesby Stephen Maran
The Origin of the Universeby John D. Barrow
The Big Bangby Joseph Silk
Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacyby Kip S. Thorne