Main Story :
pdf format; 2 slides per page : B&W or
Preview the territory of the class; course logistics and expectations.
Set the stage by providing a global overview of the Universe.
(2) Evidence for the Big Bang
Why are astronomers so sure there was a creation event -- a ``Big Bang"?
Consider: cosmic expansion; the age limit for stars; the change of galaxies
with lookback time; the helium and deuterium abundance; the microwave
background. The cosmological principle: a homogeneous and istroptic universe.
- CD-ROM : Griffiths article (broad overview of entire subject).
HTML version includes sounds and figures.
- Silk : Ch 1 : overvew of cosmology
Ch 3 p 46.2 - 55.8 : Galaxy recession & cosmic homogeneity
Ch 4 (skim CMB: p 75.8 - 81.9) : Evidence for the Big Bang.
Ch 7 p 141.0 - 147 : Light element synthesis.
(3) The First Million Years: Light & Heat
General description of the early expansion -- the thinning, cooling,
``atmosphere"; light's brilliance; the color/temperature changes; the lack
- CD-ROM : Main_story 1 - 16
- CD-ROM : Music 5 - 16
- Silk : Ch 8 (omit/skim 150 - 155.8 & 161 - 162.7) : The emerging fireball
(4) The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)
Our remarkable ability to see the early fireball -- the young Universe.
The phenomenon of recombination; the reason we can see so deep into cosmic
history; the human history of discovering and trying to measure the CMB.
Thermal radiation and the redshift from light to microwaves. The detection
- CD-ROM : Main_story 17 - 26
- CD-ROM : Music 36 - 44
- Chapter 2 from Partridge "3K" : PDF (2.4 Mb)
- Silk : Ch 4 p 75.8 - 81.9 : The Cosmic Microwave Background
(5) Seeing Sound Waves
The properties of sound : volume, pitch, quality. The generation of
primordial sound. How to measure quality in terrestrial sound and
in cosmic sound. Use of the Spectrogram program to measure sound
spectra. Sound spectra of pure tones; musical instruments; the human
voice. The projected sound spectrum, C(l), seen on the CMB.
- CD-ROM : Main_story 27 - 48; 49 - 51; 55
- CD-ROM : Music 7 - 17
(6) Distortions in the Cosmic Concert Hall
Understanding in more detail the form of the projected sound spectrum,
C(l). The presence of distorting effects, such as Doppler motion;
gravitational red/blue-shifts; smearing of high pitches; foreground
- CD-ROM : Main_story 65 - 68
- CD-ROM : Advanced 46 - 50
(7) Removing Distortions: CMBFAST Recreates the Big Bang
Solving the physics of the early Universe on a computer. Discovering the pure
sound P(k). Generating the
sound's full development. The descending pitch and expanding horizons.
- CD-ROM : Main_story 69 - 78; 110 - 117
- CD-ROM : Music 45 - 47
- CD-ROM : Advanced 51 - 61
(8) Sound as Diagnostic Tool: the Concordence Model
Why different objects "sound" different when they vibrate. The
application of this to cosmology to measure fundamental cosmic parameters.
The emergence of the so-called concordance cosmology -- the astronomers
best evaluation of the cosmic parameters. What these parameters mean:
dark matter; dark energy; critical density; age; expansion rate.
- CD-ROM : Main_story 56 - 64
- Silk : Ch 17 p 361.8 - 369.6 ; curvature from fits to CMB first harmonic.
(9) Harmonic Analysis: the Music of Creation
The origin of harmonics, in musical instruments and the early
Universe. The physics of musical instruments. Harmonic and anharmonic
instruments. Anharmonicity and the strike tone in bells. Similarities to
the cosmic harmonic development.
- CD-ROM : Main_story 49 - 54; 79 - 91
- CD-ROM : Music 32 - 35; 67 - 69
(10) Post Recombination: From Sound into Stars
What happens after the fog clears. The crucial role of dark matter. The
growth of structure for dark matter and baryons. Expansion turns
around. Collapse to form the first generation of stars at roughly 100
Million years. The acoustic signature of this process -- the "hiss"
of the small scale structure.
- CD-ROM : Main_story 92 - 109
- CD-ROM : Music 55
- CD-ROM : Advanced 66 - 68
- Silk : Ch 9 p 169 - 172.3; (omit 172.3 - 176.6; skim 176.6 - 182); 183 - 186 : Cold Dark Matter
Ch 14 p 285 - 296.8 : Formation of the first stars
(11) The Next 14 Billion Years
How structure then develops in a hierarchical manner -- first stars,
then galaxies, then groups, then clusters, now the tapestry. The present
day distribution of galaxies. How this is measured. The sloan digital
sky survey. The creation of heavy elements paving the way for planets
- CD-ROM : Main_story 136 - 156
- CD-ROM : Music 70 - 71
(12) Cosmological Problems and their Solution: Inflation
A return to the question of horizons. Why is the CMB so uniform ?
The horizon "problem". Other problems in cosmology : the flatness
problem; the isotropy problem. The suggestion of inflation. Why inflation
is so helpful.
- CD-ROM : Main_story 118 - 124
(13) The Initial Sound Spectrum -- Quantum Hiss
The origin of cosmic fluctuations from quantum fluctuations, amplified
by inflation. Witnessing these on the CMB. The CMB as the ultimate
microscope, as well as the ultimate telescope. The form of the Initial
Sound Spectrum. The Universe as a resonant system, responding to this
initial driving source.
- CD-ROM : Main_story 125 - 135
(14) Can Modern Cosmology Provide a Rich Mythology?
Creation stories have played an important role in the spiritual life of
many cultures. Is the current story different or similar? Can it have
the same emotional resonance that traditional cosmologies often have?
Why is the Big Bang so understandable -- sound and light, they are so
"human" -- why do we have relatively easy mental access to these
outrageously remote times? What, if any, deep mysteries remain?