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  • Discuss the expansion of the universe.
  • Explain the Big Bang.

Look at the sky on some clear night when you are away from city lights. There you will see thousands of individual stars and a faint glowing background of millions more. The Milky Way, as it has been called since ancient times, is an arm of our galaxy of stars—the word galaxy coming from the Greek word galaxias , meaning milky. We know a great deal about our Milky Way galaxy and of the billions of other galaxies beyond its fringes. But they still provoke wonder and awe (see [link] ). And there are still many questions to be answered. Most remarkable when we view the universe on the large scale is that once again explanations of its character and evolution are tied to the very small scale. Particle physics and the questions being asked about the very small scales may also have their answers in the very large scales.

The photo shows a lot of small bright spots of different shapes and sizes on a black background. Some spots show evidence of an interior spiral structure whereas others are more uniform.
Take a moment to contemplate these clusters of galaxies, photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope. Trillions of stars linked by gravity in fantastic forms, glowing with light and showing evidence of undiscovered matter. What are they like, these myriad stars? How did they evolve? What can they tell us of matter, energy, space, and time? (credit: NASA, ESA, K. Sharon (Tel Aviv University) and E. Ofek (Caltech))

As has been noted in numerous Things Great and Small vignettes, this is not the first time the large has been explained by the small and vice versa. Newton realized that the nature of gravity on Earth that pulls an apple to the ground could explain the motion of the moon and planets so much farther away. Minute atoms and molecules explain the chemistry of substances on a much larger scale. Decays of tiny nuclei explain the hot interior of the Earth. Fusion of nuclei likewise explains the energy of stars. Today, the patterns in particle physics seem to be explaining the evolution and character of the universe. And the nature of the universe has implications for unexplored regions of particle physics.

Cosmology is the study of the character and evolution of the universe. What are the major characteristics of the universe as we know them today? First, there are approximately 10 11 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"11"} } } {} galaxies in the observable part of the universe. An average galaxy contains more than 10 11 size 12{"10" rSup { size 8{"11"} } } {} stars, with our Milky Way galaxy being larger than average, both in its number of stars and its dimensions. Ours is a spiral-shaped galaxy with a diameter of about 100,000 light years and a thickness of about 2000 light years in the arms with a central bulge about 10,000 light years across. The Sun lies about 30,000 light years from the center near the galactic plane. There are significant clouds of gas, and there is a halo of less-dense regions of stars surrounding the main body. (See [link] .) Evidence strongly suggests the existence of a large amount of additional matter in galaxies that does not produce light—the mysterious dark matter we shall later discuss.

The figure contains three images of the Milky Way galaxy. The first is a side view from outer space and shows a long thin grouping of bright stars against a black background. In the middle of this thin line of stars is a bright yellow ball that looks a bit like an egg yolk in the middle of the egg white. The length of the thin line is given as one hundred thousand light years and it thickness is given as two thousand light years. The diameter of the egg-yolk-like cluster in the middle is given as ten thousand light years. Thirty thousand light years to the left of the center of the egg yolk is the Sun. The second image is a view from above of the Milky Way galaxy and shows several spiral arms twisting outward from the center egg-yolk form. The last image is a photograph from Earth of the Milky Way galaxy in the nighttime sky. It shows a dusting of stars in the sky, with a slight concentration of star dust forming a horizontal stripe across the image.
The Milky Way galaxy is typical of large spiral galaxies in its size, its shape, and the presence of gas and dust. We are fortunate to be in a location where we can see out of the galaxy and observe the vastly larger and fascinating universe around us. (a) Side view. (b) View from above. (c) The Milky Way as seen from Earth. (credits: (a) NASA, (b) Nick Risinger, (c) Andy)

Questions & Answers

Pls guys am having problem on these topics: latent heat of fusion, specific heat capacity and the sub topics under them.Pls who can help?
hamidat Reply
Thanks George,I appreciate.
hamidat
this will lead you rightly of the formula to use
Abolarin
Most especially it is the calculatory aspects that is giving me issue, but with these new strength that you guys have given me,I will put in my best to understand it again.
hamidat
you can bring up a question and let's see what we can do to it
Abolarin
the distance between two suasive crests of water wave traveling of 3.6ms1 is 0.45m calculate the frequency of the wave
Idris Reply
v=f×lemda where the velocity is given and lends also given so simply u can calculate the frequency
Abdul
You are right my brother, make frequency the subject of formula and equate the values of velocity and lamda into the equation, that all.
hamidat
lExplain what happens to the energy carried by light that it is dimmed by passing it through two crossed polarizing filters.
Christoper Reply
When light is reflected at Brewster's angle from a smooth surface, it is 100% polarizedparallel to the surface. Part of the light will be refracted into the surface.
Ekram
What is specific heat capacity?
hamidat Reply
Specific heat capacity is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one (Kg) of a substance through one Kelvin
Paluutar
formula for measuring Joules
Rowshan Reply
I don't understand, do you mean the S.I unit of work and energy?
hamidat
what are the effects of electric current
ADAMS Reply
What limits the Magnification of an optical instrument?
Naeem Reply
Lithography is 2 micron
Venkateshwarlu
what is expression for energy possessed by water ripple
Prabesh Reply
what is hydrolic press
Mark Reply
An hydraulic press is a type of machine that is operated by different pressure of water on pistons.
hamidat
what is dimensional unite of mah
Patrock Reply
i want jamb related question on this asap🙏
sharon Reply
What is Boyles law
Pascal Reply
it can simple defined as constant temperature
Muhammad
Boyles law states that the volume of a fixed amount of a gas is inversely proportional to the pressure acting on in provided that the temperature is constant.that is V=k(1/p) or V=k/p
FADILAT
what is motion
Mua Reply
getting notifications for a dictionary word, smh
Anderson
what is escape velocity
Shuaibu Reply
the minimum thrust that an object must have in oder yo escape the gravitational pull
Joshua
what is a dimer
Mua
what is a atom
ADAMS
how to calculate tension
Deena Reply
what are the laws of motion
Mua

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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