The Early Universe


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Table of Contents

The Early Universe

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The Great Debate

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Cosmic distances

Galaxies everywhere

The Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Deep Field

The expanding universe

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Measuring redshifts

Hubble’s Law

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Age and distance

Some big questions

The expanding universe means that we can make a 3D map of the galaxies by measuring redshifts: The ‘Redshift Survey’

The distribution of the galaxies

Redshift surveys (mid-1980s)

The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey

Going faster with fibre optics

Tha AAT and The 2-degree Field

2dF top end

2dF on the AAT

Tiling strategy

2dFGRS geometry

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The state of the art in galaxy clustering

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Why do galaxies, clusters, and superclusters exist? Simplest answer: because gravity can amplify density irregularities

Gravitational instability: hierarchical collapse generates ever larger structures

Simulating structure formation

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Forming superclusters (comoving view)

Non-gravitational caustics

The Hubble Volume Simulation

Our place in the universe

But this doesn’t explain anything! Why does the universe contain irregularities, and what determines their size? Need to think about the early history of the expanding universe

The ‘Big Bang’: running the expansion backwards implies an infinite density in the past

The expanding curved universe

The Hot Big Bang

The thermal history of the universe


Weighing the universe

Weighing the universe

What is dark matter?

The big problem with the big bang: need to set initial conditions at t=0 (1) Expanding (2) Slightly non-uniform

The missing ingredient: vacuum energy

Evidence for vacuum energy from distant supernovae

SN Ia Hubble Diagram

The cosmic energy budget

The Inflationary universe (1981: long before vacuum energy was proved to exist today)

The History of the vacuum?

History of the expansion

The uncertainty principle (1927)

Quantum fluctuations and cosmic structure

Observing fluctuations from the early universe: Furthest back we can see is the microwave background (z = 1100)

COBE Microwave Sky (1992)

COBE Microwave sky: 1,000 X stretch

COBE microwave sky: 25,000 X stretch

Observing prehistoric structure

Impact of WMAP (2003)

Testing inflation

The cosmic puzzle

The anthropic universe

The outlook for cosmology

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Author: John Peacock


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