Untangling the Cosmos Symposium – CIFAR and Ontario Science Centre

Colleagues, This may interest you.
Join CIFAR and the Ontario Science Centre on May 17, 2017 for a symposium that will take you on a journey to unravel some of the greatest secrets of the universe. Moderated by Jay Ingram, the symposium will feature leading Canadian and international researchers in astronomy and cosmology. Through plenary talks and panel discussions with the audience, they will discuss major recent breakthroughs in our understanding of the properties of and forces in the universe, and explore areas where research is pushing the boundaries to answer some of astronomy’s deepest questions.

This event is open to the public. For educators, please note that this event aligns with Grade 9 and 12 science curricula. It will feature how researchers are generating new knowledge about fundamental concepts in astronomy, including the origins of the universe and evolution of stars, how they are uncovering new areas of scientific investigation, and the new techniques and technologies that are providing a more thorough understanding of the universe.

This event is an affiliate event of Innovation 150, celebrating ideas, ingenuity and innovation for Canada’s 150th year.

LEARN MORE & REGISTER – click here!

Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
CIFAR.CA

Student Activity: The Big Bang

The big bang theory is the most accepted theory for the formation of the universe. The “big bang” is a misnomer because there was no explosion, but rather a rapid expansion. It is not known what existed the moment before the big bang, however the evolution of the universe from the first instant after the big bang and onwards is well understood. There is considerable evidence supporting the big bang theory, including the following observations:

  • There is an abundance of light elements (hydrogen and helium) in the universe. This is as predicted by the big bang theory.
  • The universe cooled as it expanded so that today the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation corresponds to a temperature of 2.7 K. This is consistent with scientists’ predictions of that an expanding universe would by now have cooled to a temperature in this range.
  • The universe is expanding and the galaxies appear to be moving away from us at speeds directly proportional to their distance from us.

This balloon activity models the universe: once compact but now expanding.

Click here to download complete article….

Misconceptions About the Universe

Can we see things travelling faster than light?
Check out Audible: http://bit.ly/AudibleVe
Music by Amarante “One Last Thing” http://bit.ly/VeAmarante
Awesome animations by http://youtube.com/minutephysics
Thanks to Prof. Geraint Lewis for input on earlier drafts of this video.

The expanding universe is a complicated place. During inflation the universe expanded faster than light, but that’s something that actually happens all the time, it’s happening right now. This doesn’t violate Einstein’s theory of relativity since nothing is moving through space faster than light, it’s just that space itself is expanding such that far away objects are receding rapidly from each other. Common sense would dictate that objects moving away from us faster than light should be invisible, but they aren’t. This is because light can travel from regions of space which are superluminal relative to us into regions that are subluminal. So our observable universe is bigger than our Hubble sphere – it’s limited by the particle horizon, the distance light could travel to us since the beginning of time as we know it.