Following your study of this chapter, you should be able to:
  • cite the three pieces of evidence for the Big Bang
  • state Hubble's law mathematically and explain it
  • discuss why the observation of cosmic microwave background radiation supports the Big Bang theory
  • explain why scientists measure the relative abundances of the elements and how this supports the Big Bang theory
  • draw a timeline of the events at the beginning of the universe from the moment of the Big Bang (t = 0 seconds) to the present (10^17 seconds)
  • describe the process of the formation of a star
  • follow the example in the book that estimates the mean temperature of the sun
  • explain what determines the final state of a star after hydrogen fuel is exhausted
  • define neutron star, pulsar and white dwarf
  • be familiar with the following astronomical objects: active galactic nuclei, quasars, novae and supernovae
  • briefly explain the areas of study of gamma ray astrophysicists and neutrino astronomers
  • cite the three problems with the Big Bang theory and if a solution exists for any of them
  • explain the missing mass problem
  • understand the example in the text that determines the critical density of the universe
  • follow the derivation in the text of the deceleration parameter q and understand its signifigance
  • for the flat, closed, open and open empty universe, be familiar with the respective deceleration parameter, average density and age of the universe