Lecture 23 - Other Constraints: The Cosmic Microwave Background

author: Charles Bailyn, Department of Astronomy, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Nov. 24, 2009,   recorded: April 2007,   views: 3669
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

Reasons for the expansion of the universe are addressed at the start of this lecture, focusing especially on the acceleration of dark energy. Supernovae were the first evidence for the existence of dark energy. Two other proofs are presented. The first is the Cosmic Microwave Background, which is a form of electromagnetic radiation that is perfectly smooth and equal in all directions. It firmly supports the Big Bang theory. Projects attempting to measure it, such as COBE and WMAP, are discussed. Secondly, Large-Scale Clustering is introduced: by measuring the degree of clustering, astronomers hope to advance their understanding of dark energy and dark matter. Computer simulations of the evolution of the universe are shown.

Reading assignment:

Problem Set 9 [PDF]
Problem Set 9 Solutions [PDF]

Resources

Class Notes - Lecture 23 [PDF]

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