POST AP 04: Cosmology

STEM Scholarship Opportunity is HERE

By the by, I graduated from my Masters of Ed (blechhh)/teacher cert program at U of W Tacoma back in 2008. I managed $6000 in scholarships from the state, $3000 from U of W Tacoma which left me with $19,000 in debt which I financed with student loans over a 10 year period.

Quick quiz...If I hadn't paid off my student loans a few years early, how much would I have had to pay back in total?


That was about $225/month for 10 years...

Let's say I had to borrow an even $100K. that would put me right around $1000/mo for 10 years.... which is more than my current mortgage.

I'm just say'n...

Oh and once upon a time (read MY generation), far too many students took out bucket loads of loans (some took the money to Vegas, it's <sadly enough> true!) and then quickly declared bankruptcy after graduation and left the feds holding the bill.

The Feds didn't like that.

So NOWAWDAYS, student loans CANNOT be discharged through any sort of bankruptcy...

Just say'n


Let's change gears a bit to cosmology:

Please work with your group to sort the "Big Bang" tiles I've given you into chronological order....

Any questions about that?

Let's talk a wee bit about the early (and I mean VERY EARLY) Universe:

Time starts at 10-43 seconds... the Planck Era

We currently do NOT have the math/physics theory to unite all four forces of nature. We are reasonably confident that we will at some point, and all our work so far indicates that all four forces (gravity, strong force, weak force and electromagnetic force) were unified at this time.

Our current working theories get us all the way back to to about 10-37 seconds after the Big Bang... that's when the gravity broke away from the the e-m force, strong force and weak force which remained combined as a singular force for a bit longer.

Another intriguing thing happened at about 10-6 seconds post BB. The Universe was a seething mass of matter, anti-matter and energy. Almost all the matter and anti-matter in the Universe combined to form gamma rays. The matter that didn't get annihilated eventually became the stars, planets, asteroids, comets and other "ordinary" matter we see in our Universe today.

The Universe stayed uncomfortably hot (if you were an electron that is) for about the next 380,000 years. The gamma photons created in the earlier epoch pretty much bounced around in an uber-intense 'light fog' until the Universe expanded enough that they could fly free. They eventually (over the next 13.78 billion years or so) 'cooled' off enough to form the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation that we can still detect today.

Somewhere in the next "few hundred million to a billion" (we ain't sure) years later the first stars formed... or was it the first galaxies? (There is no consensus among cosmologists on that, oddly enough)

Through many gazillions of gas cloud formations, stellar births, supernovae and other such stuff, the Universe gradually assumed it's current state.

Where to go from here?

We can go back and evaluate Big Bang stuff, super nova explosions, black holes, red dwarf timelines (we think they'll be around for trillions <yes, with a T> years)

My plan is to jump to the end of the Universe... hmmmm

This is well written article from Astronomy Magazine that talks about:

  1. The Big Crunch
  2. The Big Freeze
  3. The Modified Big Freeze
  4. The Big Rip

And here is a much more technical version that is a little dated (it was written BEFORE we discovered the Universe is actually accelerating), but still very interesting. It shows calculations to suggest how long white dwarf's will survive, how long it will take for a black hole to decay and other goodies