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Terms in this set (19)
idea that physical laws must be the way they are because otherwise we could not be here to measure them.
the theory of cosmology in which the expansion of the universe began with a primeval explosion (of space, time, matter, and energy)
a model in which the universe expands from a Big Bang, stops, and then contracts to a big crunch.
cosmic microwave background (CMB)
microwave radiation coming from all directions that is the redshifted afterglow of the Big Bang.
the term in the equations of general relativity that represents a repulsive force in the universe.
the study of the organization and evolution of the universe.
in cosmology, the density that is just sufficient to bring the expansion of the universe to a stop after infinite time.
the energy that is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate; its existence is inferred from observations of distant supernovae.
nonluminous material, whose nature we don't yet understand, but whose presence can be inferred because of its gravitational influence on luminous matter.
a form of hydrogen in which the nucleus of each atom consists of one proton and one neutron.
a model of the universe that has a critical density and in which the geometry of the universe is flat, like a sheet of paper.
the building of heavier atomic nuclei from lighter ones.
grand unified theories
(GUTs) physical theories that attempt to describe the four forces of nature as different manifestations of a single force.
a theory of cosmology in which the universe is assumed to have undergone a phase of very rapid expansion when the universe was about 10-35 second old; after this period of rapid expansion, the standard Big Bang and inflationary models are identical.
the third element in the periodic table; lithium nuclei with three protons and four neutrons were manufactured during the first few minutes of the expansion of the universe.
the speculative idea that our universe is just one of many universes, each with its own set of physical laws.
a model in which the density of the universe is not high enough to bring the expansion of the universe to a halt.
photon decoupling time
when radiation began to stream freely through the universe without interacting with matter.
weakly interacting massive particles
(WIMPs) weakly interacting massive particles are one of the candidates for the composition of dark matter.
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