galaxies & cosmology syllabus
&
course
expectations
safety,
tardy,
classroom computer use, and honesty
Astronomy
Picture
of the Day what's up in the sky
this
week
Monday, February 13 
February 17 


last Friday in class, we covered a two big eras of the universe AND WHY they happened exactly when they did (including some mistakes on p. 46 of the BLUE book) 1) formation of first atoms 2) formation of first nuclei if you missed class, because get the notes 

(always done before class) 
Universe 27(4, 5) actually has good physics/conclusion (as opposed to most of the entire rest of chapter 27, which is rampant speculation) 

questions you should know the answer to before coming to class 
despite
the fact that some in class Friday wanted to read Fourier series in the calculus textbook in an attempt to understand Universe p. ; however, I don't think that will be very productive; (I am not discouraging you from reading about Fourier series, but understanding fig. 2621 , even with Fourier series knowledge, would take far more than one class period.... I am writing a web page on using Fourier series to understand fig 2621 ; it is here, but still in progress) instead, we will examine a limited amount of other issues: when did the last antimatter appear in the universe? what antiparticle was the last to disappear? in what form is the antimatter now? when did the bigbang neutrinos stop acting with matter in the universe? why? 

homework (written assignments to be turned in) 





of the week 
Monday, February 6 
Tuesday, February 7 
February 8 
February 9 
February 10 


make sure that you have your BLUE book all this week, in particular, you need a) the last 5 pages of the book b) page 44 of the book 
butchered schedule 
make sure that you have the proper
page of the blue boox for class today 

(always done before class) 
on
observational tests of which universe we live in: the first paragraph on page 710 (the last assigned reading) through the end of the chapter 
first day on Big Bang: 26(4, 5) 

questions you should know the answer to before coming to class 
what are the three observational tests the determine our universe's place on the Ω_{Λ}vsΩ_{M} plot? do the observations agree? questions to test your knowledge of kinds of universes: 1) what regions of the Ω_{Λ}vsΩ_{M} plot are occupied by universes that have the properties of one of the three classical/Newtonian universes (e.g., what part of the plot has the properties of a Newtonian closed universe: spherical geometry; does not expand forever; Ω_{M} greater than 1).... it's not just part of the horizontal line at Ω_{Λ} = 0 !) 2) some universe properties that were mutually exclusive in Newtonian cosmology are no longer mutually exclusive in universes with dark energy (e.g., Ω_{M} > 1 and hyperbolic geometry were mutually exclusive in Newtonian cosmology, but they are no longer mutually exclusive in general relativity) 3) how many regions of the Ω_{Λ}vsΩ_{M} plot can you find that represent universes that have one property that matches the classical closed universe; one property that matches classical open; and a third property that matches classical flat? or are there any? 
what are the three pieces of evidence that imply that the universe had a hot, dense origin? (bring a written list to class !) how is the universe now different from the universe before the first atoms formed? (at least three differences are discussed in the book!) where did those plots of density or temperaturevsage of the universe come from? why do the plots of matter (density/temperaturevsage) differ from those of radiation? 
has it occurred to you that we spent more time in class yesterday talking about the Big Bang than it took to actually happen? < some of yesterday's of questions are still unanswered! new: have you calculated the slopes of the straightline portions of the two graphs (density and temperature vs time) that we looked at in class yesterday? why are there two straightline portions for each graph? what do they each represent? can you explain where those slopes came from? 
another day, same exact questions no point in going farther if we dont understand what the physics is or why we are using it here is a help page on matter and radiation in the early universe (which summarizes some of what we have done) each blank box with an "x" is something for you to calculate and or fill in (I have done one example for you: "definition of density; density now") the rest is up to you (a hard copy of this help page on orchid paper is in the black box; it also has a photocopy of the two diagrams from the book whose slope we habe been trying to calculate; you can use to draw straight lines and thus calculate the slope!) 

homework (written assignments to be turned in) 





of the week 
The Wild Early Lives of Today's Most Massive Galaxies LOFAR to begin hunt for earliest star formation, galaxies, supermassive black holes and yet again: newfound alien planet best bet to support life.... Hubble zooms in on a magnified galaxy... supernova remnant associated with powerful kick "School Success: class size doesn't matter ...." (what 5 things do?) "I hate homework, but I assign it anyway" 
ok, so you've lost the ability to do simple math without a calculator.... you've lost the ability to concentrate long enough to read a book.... here's how to lose something else 
Monday, January 30 
Tuesday, January 31 
February 1 
February 2 
February 3 


make sure you have BLUE BOOK in class for rest of week 
1st project presentations presentations (executive summaries, at least) moved to bulletin board: due tomorrow by 5 pm project work submitted to me by friday (word processed and/or in lab book); 1 report per group 
begin thinking about final project 
bring computers to work on project 2 

(always done before class) 
begin reading the article from last week: Look Back Time: Observing Cosmic History 
finish
article, Look Back
Time: Observing Cosmic History can you determine how they obtained the formulas for distance to a galaxy (both now and in the past)? review reading for last wednesday 
since some people still haven't
read that article, READ THE ARTICLE! (and why did i hand it out, rather than put an electronic copy of moodle? so you could write on it! so you could show how to get from one step to another! but I can't make you, can I? 

questions you should know the answer to before coming to class 
yesterday in class we wrote down the two GR equations that describe cosmology (0) in 1916, Einstein kept the "integration constant" provided by GR in order to prop up the universe from collapsing under gravity; so, why did he later come to realize that it was a mistake, and ask for a doover? (1) do the GR equations in your text [(the ones with Ω in them at the end of section 26(6)] agree with those I wrote in class yesterday? (2) by looking at each of these two equations (we will continue to call one the acceleration equation, but we will rename the "energy equation" as the "curvature equation" because that's the name of the term we labeled Ω_{k} yesterday), you should be able to describe qualitatively how the dark energy behaves: does it behave like matter or "opposite" to matter? how did you know? (3) how many straight lines are there in the Ω_{Λ}vsΩ_{M} plot? can you see where they came from using the GR equations? 

homework (written assignments to be turned in) 


"Is the Universe Leaking Energy" (Scientific American, July 2010) is now in moodle (as it is still under copyright protection) 



of the week 