SC 2022 Semilab: Cosmology

by Alex Frenkel, Polina Zavyalova

In 1917, Herbert Curtis measured novae in the Andromeda galaxy that were ten times as distant as anything in the Milky Way, kicking off a heated debate about the existence of "island universes" unimaginably distant from our own. The next decade, Einstein's theory and Hubble's observations suggested that spacetime itself was dynamic, sending shockwaves throughout physics and our understanding of the past, present, and future of the universe itself, kicking off the field of Cosmology. In this semilab we will cover the techniques used to probe the large scale structure of the universe, the ideas behind the big bang, dark energy, and the cosmological constant. We will also consider what insights the forefront of quantum gravity and string theory can provide on the questions of where we came from and where we're all going.

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