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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 unit 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.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The evolving Universe
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Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
The evolving Universe
This unit 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 unit then moves on to the inflation era, the quark-lepton and the hadron era. Then the unit 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 unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from How the universe works (S197) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Physics and Astronomy courses or view the range of currently available OU Physics and Astronomy courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 12th March 2012
Last updated on: Monday, 15th October 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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