Cosmic Origins

We inhabit an almost inconceivably vast and ancient universe. Yet our telescopes and theories are able to probe the dawn of time, before the Earth existed, when the observable universe was tiny, hot, and dense.

Cosmic Origins is the story of the universe but it's also our story. Hear about origin of space and time, mass and energy, the atoms in our bodies, the compact objects where matter can end up, and the planets and moons where life may flourish. Modern cosmology includes insights and triumphs, but mysteries remain. Join the six speakers who will explore cosmology's historical and cultural backdrop to explain the discoveries that speak of our cosmic origins. (from UA Science Lecture Series)

Image: Cosmic Origins

Cosmology: Making Sense of the Universe
Our "cosmology" is the sum of our assumptions and deductions of how the universe behaves. With the advent of modern physics, the term has been appropriated by physicists and astronomers to represent a scientific description of the origin and nature of the physical universe.

Origin of the Universe: The Big Bang
The scientific story of creation begins 13.7 billion years ago in a circumstance of incredible temperature and density, when all matter and radiation was contained in a region smaller than an atom.

Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Inflation: The Big Mysteries of Cosmology
Our current cosmological model describes the evolution of the universe from a very early burst of accelerated expansion (known as inflation) a tiny fraction of a second after the beginning.

Astronomical Alchemy: The Origin of the Elements
One of the greatest achievements of twentieth-century science is an understanding of the origin of matter.

Origins of Black Holes: Gravity at Its Extreme
Gravity is the most important force in the universe, holding together planetary systems, stars, and galaxies.

The Oldest Question: Is There Life Beyond Earth?
Our reconstruction of the chronology of events that led to the origin of the Earth and subsequent chemical evolution on our planet informs us that nothing unusual was required for the origin and development of terrestrial life, and that therefore life may be pervasive throughout the cosmos.

Related Links
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
This is a thirteen-part documentary series hosted by Carl Sagan, which covers a wide range of scientific subjects including the origin of life and a perspective of our place in the universe.
Stephen Hawking's Universe
This is an astronomical documentary series, presented by Stephen Hawking, discussing the history of astronomy, origins of the universe, dark matter and black holes.
How Old is the Universe?
The title question about the age of our universe poses a deceptively simple question, and its answer carries profound implications for science, religion and philosophy.
Life in the Universe
This course provides an overview of the scientific quest to discover life elsewhere in the universe.
Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics
This course focuses on three particularly interesting areas of astronomy that are advancing very rapidly: Extra-Solar Planets, Black Holes, and Dark Energy.
During this course, you'll have the opportunity to study the cosmos from the modern perspective - what we know and what we're not sure about.
Survey of Astronomy
We'll explore the Sun, the planets, the many other objects found in the Solar System, stars and galaxies, dark matter, dark energy, the fate of the universe, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life.