Lecture Course

Cosmic Origins

November 2015-January 2016
University Groningen

Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel: Creation of the Sun, Moon and Plants


    Rien van de Weygaert,
                      Kapteynborg ZG 186, Zernike Campus   tel. 3634086,   weygaert@astro.rug.nl

    Shawn Laatsch       (Infoversum lecture, Nov. 19)

                      Infoversum, Vrydemalaan 2, Groningen


The lecture schedule will be:

      Thursday    19:00-21:00       hoorcollege/lecture              
                                                      Harmoniegebouw 1312.0018     


First lecture on thursday November 12

Lecture on thursday November 19 will be at the Infoversum, Vrydemalaan 2, Groningen !!!!
       Be at the Infoversum some 10 minutes in advance, at 18:50

No lecture on thursday November 26
       due to workvisit of lecturer to Valencia, Spain

       Other timeslot for the lecture is being arranged, information will follow.

Lecture thursday December 17 --> monday December 14 !
       Lecture of December 17 is replaced to monday December 14

       Location: Academiegebouw, Zernikezaal, 19:00-21:00

Lecture of January 7 has been cancelled due to dangerous weather
       January 7: RUG cancels all lectures after 16:00, closes buildings after 16:00

Lecture on thursday January 14, originally scheduled at the Infoversum, will be held in the regular lecture room:
       Harmoniegebouw, 1312.0018

Friday January 15, 13:00-15:00 - Extra Lecture (replacing last week's Jan. 7 lecture):
       Harmoniegebouw, 1312.0018

Mon January 18, 19:00-21:00 - Extra Lecture (replacing Nov. 26 lecture):
       Academiegebouw, room A12

Wed January 20, 9:00-12:00 - schriftelijk tentamen/written exam
       location: room 165 in Bernoulliborg, Zernike Campus

Albert Einstein and Edwin Hubble,
studying the recession of galaxies at the Mt. Wilson 100inch telescope


The course will be based on

lecture notes/slides (see below)


           Cosmos, An Illustrated History of Astronomy and Cosmology
           John North
           2nd ed., 2008, Univ. Chicago Press (paperback)

additional books you may want to consult (ie., do not buy, these are not course books):

           Cosmology, the Science of the Universe
           Edward Harrison
           2nd ed., 2000, Cambridge Univ. Press

           Conceptions of Cosmos:
           From Myths to the Accelerating Universe: A History of Cosmology
           H. Kragh
           2013, Oxford Univ. Press

           the History and Practic of Ancient Astronomy
           James Evans
           1998, Oxford Univ. Press

           Ancient Cosmologies
           eds. C. Blacker, M. Loewe
           1975, George Allen & Unwin Ltd.

Selection of key scientific publications in cosmology:

           - Hubble E., 1929, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sciences, Vol. 15, 168-173
              a relation between distance and radial velocity among extra-galactic nebulae

           - Penzias A.A., Wilson R.W., 1965, Astrophys. J., 142, 419-421
              a measurement of excess antenna temperature at 080 Mc/s

           - Dicke R.H., Peebles P.J.E., Roll P.G., Wilkinson, D.T., 1965, Astrophys. J., 142, 414-419
              Cosmic Black-body Radiation

Mysterium Cosmographicum:
Kepler's Geometric Model of the Cosmos

Lecture Notes & Exam Material:

The course is based upon the lecture notes. Below you find a listing of the notes.

      Generals                                                   ppt
         Generals                                                   pdf

      Fundamental Questions                            pptx
         Fundamental Questions                            pdf
         Fundamental Questions                            pdf, 2 slides per page

      Cosmology Timeline                                pptx
         Cosmology Timeline                                pdf

      Heavenly Rhythms                                   pptx
         Heavenly Rhythms                                   pdf
         Heavenly Rhythms                                   pdf, 2 slides per page

      Gods and Myths: Creation of the World   pptx
         Gods and Myths: Creation of the World   pdf
         Gods and Myths: Creation of the World   pdf, 2 slides per page

      Order in the Cosmos                                  pptx
         Order in the Cosmos                                  pdf
         Order in the Cosmos                                  pdf, 2 slides per page

      Scientific Revolution                                 pptx
         Scientific Revolution                                 pdf
         Scientific Revolution                                 pdf, 2 slides per page

      the Expanding Universe                              pptx
         the Expanding Universe                              pdf
         the Expanding Universe                              pdf, 2 slides per page

      the Big Bang                                                pptx
         the Big Bang                                                pdf
         the Big Bang                                                pdf, 2 slides per page

      from Cosmic Birth to Cosmic Web             pptx
         from Cosmic Birth to Cosmic Web             pdf
         from Cosmic Birth to Cosmic Web             pdf, 2 slides per page

Report Topics:

Part of the course requirements is a 10-15 page report on a specific cosmological topic (or a 20-25 page report for groups of two). Topics may be on Physical Cosmology (ie. the present-day scientific cosmology), cosmological contributions by a range of scientists, cosmology of a range of philosophers/philosophies, cosmology in various cultures, cosmology in different religions and cosmology in an artistic context.

The following list contains a large list op suggestions for a topic. In addition, you may define your own topic, on the condition it will be approved by the lecturer. In all cases, before starting the work on your report, consult the lecturer. The list you find on:

         Cosmology Report Topics                                                   pdf


The exam will be in the form of

written exam (Jan. 20, 9:00-12:00)
report (10-15 pages (one student)/20-25 pages (two students)) on a topic of cosmology (see above)

For the Written Exam, on wednesday Jan. 20, the following material will have to be studied:

Lecture notes, lect1 up to lect7 (download from this page, see above)
                            * lect1, Fundamental Questions: all slides
                            * lect1a, Cosmology Timeline: read thoroughly, appreciate time/epochs of cosmological developments
                            * lect2, Heavenly Rhythms: all slides
                            * lect3, Gods and Myths: all slides
                            * lect4, Order in the Cosmos: all slides
                            * lect5, Scientific Revolution: all slides
                            * lect6, the Expanding Universe: slide 1 to 69
                                          slides 72-118 on accelerating universe is for information, not exam (not explained at lecture)
-                            * lect7, the Big Bang: slide 1 to 40, slides 41-46 (even while not shown at lecture), slides 59-79
Book John North, chapter 4, the Greek and Roman Worlds      (read thoroughly)
Book John North, chapter 11, Copernicus' Planetary Theory     (read thoroughly)
Book John North, chapter 12, the New Empiricism     (read thoroughly)

Echo of the Big Bang: Temperature Map of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (Planck satellite 2015)

Lecture Schedule:
(provisional, changes possible)

Subject Hoorcollege
November 12

the Fundamental Cosmological Questions

Cosmology Timeline

November 19

Infoversum Lecture:
Heavenly Rhythms

December 3

Gods and Myths:
Creation of the World

December 10

Order in the Cosmos:
how Babylonians and Greeks shaped our Cosmic Vision

December 14

the Scientific Revolution:
the Cosmos Mechanized

January 14

the Expanding Universe

January 15

the Big Bang:
the Birth of our Universe

January 18

from Cosmic Birth to Cosmic Web