Cosmology - the Big Bang and Origin of the Universe

Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team
Part of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF)

The early Twentieth Century saw rapid improvements in technology matched with new new forms of mathematics and theoretical physics. The combination of these allowed astronomers to probe further into the Universe than before and discover its expansion. Subsequent development led to the "Big Bang" model, a milestone in our perception of the origin of the Universe. In this section you will investigate the key observational and theoretical evidence for an expanding Universe and current scientific explanations for how it, mass, energy and large-scale structure formed.

Syllabus Requirements

2. The first minutes of the Universe released energy which changed to matter, forming stars and galaxies

  • outline the discovery of the expansion of the Universe by Hubble, following its earlier prediction by Friedmann
  • describe the transformation of radiation into matter which followed the ‘Big Bang
  • identify that Einstein described the equivalence of energy and mass
  • outline how the accretion of galaxies and stars occurred through:
    • - expansion and cooling of the Universe
    • - subsequent loss of particle kinetic energy
    • - gravitational attraction between particles
    • - lumpiness of the gas cloud that then allows gravitational collapse
  • identify data sources and gather secondary information to describe the probable origins of the Universe

Physics Stage 6 Syllabus © Copyright 2002 The State of New South Wales (Board of Studies).

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