21. Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe and the Big Rip

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Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160)

Class begins with a review of the mysterious nature of dark matter, which accounts for three quarters of the universe. Different models of the universe are graphed. The nature, frequency, and duration of supernovae are then addressed. Professor Bailyn presents data from the Supernova Cosmology Project and pictures of supernovae taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The discovery of dark energy is revisited and the density of dark energy is calculated. The Big Rip is presented as an alternative hypothesis for the fate of the universe.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Review of Dark Matter
04:51 - Chapter 2. Supernovae
20:53 - Chapter 3. Finding Supernovae: The Supernovae Cosmology Project
34:41 - Chapter 4. The Constant Density of Dark Matter and the Big Rip

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2007.