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Galaxy NGC4414 from HST Astronomy 162:
Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, & the Universe
Prof. Richard Pogge, MTWThF 9:30

Hubble Deep Field (detail)
Credit: R. Williams & the Hubble Deep Field Team, AURA/STScI & NASA

Unit 6: "The Great Ocean of Truth"
Frontiers of Modern Astronomy

"I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
In Brewster, Memoirs of Newton (1855), vol II, Ch. 27

The title of this last lecture unit of Astronomy 162 is taken from the famous quote by Isaac Newton reproduced above. While our knowledge of the universe has expanded tremendously since Newton first pointed the way with his marvelous synthesis of the laws of motion, we, too, are standing on the shore of the "great ocean of truth", and have only uncovered the tiniest part of the wonders the Universe holds.

Now that we have covered most of modern astronomy from the Earth to the fate of the Universe, this last week of lectures is dedicated to discussions of topics of interest that deserve attention on their own, and that you, the students, have expressed an interest in over the last nine weeks.

In this unit we will consider the future evolution of our Sun, investigate the nature of the mysterious "Dark Matter & Dark Energy" that may determine the fate of the Universe, explore some of the stranger possibilites of General Relativity relating to the possibility (or not) of time travel, and ask the question "Are We Alone?", now with the background of the previous 9 weeks to inform our discussions.


The Once and Future Sun (March 6)

Dark Matter & Dark Energy (March 7)

Time Travel (March 8)

Are We Alone? Life in the Universe (March 9)

"Life, The Universe, & Everything" (March 10)
Lecture Podcasts Lecture Audio Podcasts
Note about Friday March 10
While not planned, I ran out of time on Thursday, March 9, and the lecture on Life in the Universe is now a 2-part lecture. On Friday, March 10, I will pickup up about where I left off, (same basic notes as are already above), then give a brief course wrap-up presentation for which there will be no special notes.

Final Exam: Wednesday March 15, 9:30am

Return to [ Return to Astronomy 162 Main Page | Go back to Unit 5 ]
Updated: 2006 March 7
Copyright Richard W. Pogge, All Rights Reserved.