View Full Version : Cosmology 101 class to start soon!

2013-Feb-25, 07:03 PM
I'm just putting the final pieces together for a new CosmoAcademy course, to start very soon! The class will be a brief overview of cosmology - the study of the Universe - from an astronomy point of view. (In other words, no string theory, and not the stuff that Stephen Hawking writes about.) I'm assuming no prior knowledge of the material, though if you know a bit of astronomy already, it'll help you. The math level is high school algebra, but the focus is on concepts rather than equations. Please comment about whether you'd be interested and if the dates/times I propose would work for you.

Course title: The Universe in a Box (Cosmology 101)

Synopsis: Cosmology is the study of the structure, contents, and evolution of the Universe as a whole. But what do cosmologists really study? In this 8-session course, we'll look at cosmology from an astronomy point of view: taking what seems like too big of a subject and showing how we can indeed study the Universe scientifically. The starting point is the smallest chunk of the Universe that is representative of everything we can see: the Cosmic Box.

Topics include (in no particular order):
What do we mean by "the Universe"?
What are the contents of the Universe? How do they affect its evolution and structure?
⁃ Ordinary matter
⁃ Dark matter and dark energy
Just what do we mean when we say "the Universe is expanding"?
⁃ The age of the Universe
How do we measure cosmic distances?
⁃ Standard candles and standard rulers
Why are galaxies not spread out randomly? Why are there galaxies at all?
How can we understand the history of the Universe? How will it end (if it does)?

Meeting times: Monday and Wednesday, 9-10 PM EST
1. Monday, March 11
2. Wednesday, March 13
3. Monday, March 18
4. Wednesday, March 20
5. Monday, March 25
6. Wednesday, March 27 (possible to shift this date for Passover, if necessary)
7. Monday, April 1
8. Wednesday, April 3

2013-Feb-28, 10:21 PM
We have a registration page up for the class: http://cqx004.eventbrite.com/
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and I hope to see you soon!

2013-Jun-19, 05:13 PM
Hey! l recently made a few videos that were inspired by Carl Sagan & thought it would be really cool if you checked it out and gave me your thoughts & insights on them. I feel like they would be a great way to teach other students about astronomy/cosmology/the Universe. I put music in the videos from Daniel Hope's Spheres album, after I found out that he was inspired by Carl Sagan too. Hope you like them & hope to hear back from you!

- Brittany

Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLYNABCM_-w
Look to the Skies for Imagination: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7vzYpvBhbs
A Tribute to Carl Sagan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQSnhKP53bE

Brittany Manning