The third and final part of the course begins, consisting of a series of lectures on cosmology. A brief history of how cosmology developed into a scientific subject is offered. The discovery of dark energy, along with dark matter, played a crucial role in the development of cosmology. The lecture then discusses the discovery of spiral nebulae in 1920, as well as the "Great Debate" over what they were. Hubble's famous redshift diagram is presented as the basis for Hubble's Constant and Big Bang cosmology. The difficulty of measuring distance of objects in space, and how to do it using the parallax method and the standard candle method, are discussed. Measure brightness using the magnitude scale is explained. Class ends with a review of logarithms.
This course focuses on three particularly interesting areas of astronomy that are advancing very rapidly: Extra-Solar Planets, Black Holes, and Dark Energy. Particular attention is paid to current projects that promise to improve our understanding significantly over the next few years. The course explores not just what is known, but what is currently not known, and how astronomers are going about trying to find out.
As one of the world's great universities, Yale traces its roots back to the early 1640s when colonial clergyman sought to establish a school in order to continue the tradition of European education within the Americas. Yale has now grown to educate over 11,000 students from over 100 countries on a 310-acre campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Within the school's 260 buildings are over 2,000 undergraduate programs in 65 departments taught by a distinguished faculty. As Academic Earth's first partner school, Yale has been a leader within the space of OpenCourseWare by consistently delivering on its esteemed mission to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.