Free course

The Big Bang

Free statement of participation on completion

This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper.' (T.S. Eliot) But how about the way the world begins? Was this the biggest bang of all? This free course The Big Bang will introduce you to the theory of the Big Bang and will present the three main lines of experimental evidence that support this theory.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the characteristics of light emitted by stars, and hence the information of cosmological interest that can be deduced from it
  • distinguish between true and false statements relevant to the distribution and motion of stars within galaxies, and of galaxies within clusters and superclusters
  • outline the methods used for estimating the distances to stars and to galaxies
  • explain and apply Hubble’s law
  • distinguish between various sources of redshift and estimate their relative importance in a given situation.

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content