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This course is a journey through space and time from the first fractions of a second after the Big Bang to the ultimate fate of the Universe billions of years into the future. Topics include the Big Bang and its remnant cosmic background radiation, cosmic inflation, conditions during the first three minutes, creation of the elements, stellar and galactic black holes, relativity, the detection of gravitational waves, galaxies and quasars, dark matter, and the formation of the large-scale structure of the Universe. We will explore current ideas about the fate of our Universe, including the acceleration of its expansion, and its implications for the end of time. Finally, we will consider the fantastic but serious theoretical proposal that ours is but one of countless universes existing within a multiverse.
Format: lecture; discussion three hours per week
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
two midterm exams, a small observing portfolio, occasional quizzes, and a final exam
open only to juniors and seniors; closed to students who have taken or are taking ASTR 104, and closed to ASTR, ASPH, and PHYS majors; preference given to seniors
non-major course; course in the 33X sequence are meant as general education courses for students in all majors