PHYS 141: Cosmology

Course Description

Cosmology is the study of the universe as a whole, including its origin and development. The focus of this course will be on understanding the modern scientific model of the origin of the universe – the Big Bang model. In order to do this, we will first need to understand some of the physical principles upon which it is based: Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation, Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity, the structure of matter and the forces that govern it, light and its properties, and the large-scale structure and motion in the universe. We will then examine the evidence for and problems with the Big Bang model, as well as some of its theological and philosophical implications.

Catalog Description

An exploration of what science is and how science changed our understanding of who we are and our place in the universe. This question will be explored as it relates to a topic of a particular science discipline. One hour lecture and three hours lab each week. Liberal Arts.

Useful Information

Class Time                        TR 8:00-9:50 AM, Paine 118
Instructor                          Dr. Aikens
Office Hours                    

Course Materials

Course Syllabus
Term paper hints
Sky View Cafe
Starlab Quiz Info


L1: Science, Christianity, and Logical Fallacies
L2: How Big is the Universe?
L3: Newton’s Laws, Gravity, and Orbits
L4: Relativity
L5: Light
L6: Blackbody Radiation
L7: Atomic Spectra
L8: Nuclear Fusion
L9: Characteristics of Stars
L10: How Stars Form