This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper.’ (T.S. Eliot) But how about the way the world begins? Was this the biggest bang of all? This free course will introduce you to the theory of the Big Bang and will present the three main lines of experimental evidence that support this theory.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the characteristics of light emitted by stars, and hence the information of cosmological interest that can be deduced from it
  • distinguish between true and false statements relevant to the distribution and motion of stars within galaxies, and of galaxies within clusters and superclusters
  • outline the methods used for estimating the distances to stars and to galaxies
  • explain and apply Hubble’s law
  • distinguish between various sources of redshift and estimate their relative importance in a given situation.

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