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The evolving Universe

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The Big Bang is said to be the origin of our Universe. This free course, The evolving Universe, will help you to comprehend what happened in the moments immediately after the Big Bang and during the initial cooling period. You will also gain an understanding of how this event turned in to the Universe we live in today.

After studying this course you be able to:

  • discuss the sequence of the events that are believed to have taken place in the history of the Universe, particularly the particle reactions that occurred in the first few minutes after the Big Bang, and the role of unified theories in explaining those events
  • manipulate large and small numbers in scientific notation, and calculate values for quantities when given appropriate numerical information.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 12 hours
  • Updated Wednesday 16th March 2016
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Physics and Astronomy
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The evolving Universe


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This course explores origins of the Universe by looking in detail at events immediately following the Big Bang. Starting with looking at the cooling of the very early Universe, the course then moves on to the inflation era, the quark-lepton and the hadron era. Then the course looks at how fundamental particles began to synthesise to form nuclei, and from here it discusses the development of larger structures like stars and galaxies. By examining closely the forces in play and the interactions of fundamental particles in these very early stages of the Universe we can begin to understand how it turned into the Universe that we live in now.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in Science [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

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