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Problems with the “Newtonian Model” of

EAS 1601 Universe: an essentiallyy static universe containing

II. The Big Bang multitude of motionless stars
Class 5: EVIDENCE OF THE BIG BANG ¾Gravity should cause the stars to attract each other
¾Eventually the stars should fall together
¾What keeps them in place?
We are now ready to examine the ¾N t ’ solution
¾Newton’s l ti
evidence that led scientists to
believe that the
¾The universe is infinite
BEGINNING OF TIME ¾With an infinite number of stars distributed
began with a uniformly over infinite space there would be no net
BIG BANG force on anyy ggiven star and thus the universe
would remain static.

But Newton’s solution doesn’t work: But Newton’s solution doesn’t work:
¾Newton’s infinite universe would be in an unstable ALSO
equilibrium – any small perturbation to the distribution would ¾Would not an infinite universe, with an infinite number of
cause the universe to collapse. stars produce a night sky much like that we see during the
¾T accountt for
¾To f this
thi problem,
bl Ei
t i proposedd the
th so- day?
called “cosmological constant,” an antigravity force that
maintained a static equilibrium in the universe
¾Einstein is said to have called this proposal his ¾Perhaps not if there were clouds in
g mistake.” deepp space
p that intercepted
p or blocked
the light from more distant stars.

¾This doesn
doesn’tt work because this scenario requires that we see a slow
transition in the light coming from local and distant stars
¾Medium range stars should appear “foggy” like the sun shining
through a thin cloud.
¾Absorption of light by clouds would eventually cause them to
Big Bang Theory
The Four Pillars of the Big Bang Theory
In 1927, the Belgian priest and
scientist Georges Lemaître was the • Expansion of the Universe
first to propose that the universe – Hubble
began with
ith the
th explosion
l i off a • Origin
O i i Of Th
The Cosmic
C i Background
B k d Radiation
R di ti
primeval atom (Cosmic Egg). His – Penzias and Wilson
proposal came after observing the • Nucleosynthesis of the light elements
red shift in distant nebulas by • Formation of galaxies and large-scale structure
astronomers and comparing
p g to a
model of the universe based on In this lecture we will explore and examine the
relativity. The reason the stars are observations that led Hubble to demonstrate that the
not falling
f lli together:
h Theyh are still
ill universe is expanding. We will discuss the other
moving apart as a result of the three in detail later in the course.

A new solution was proposed in 1927: The challenge for astronomers:

¾The distances involved are enormous!
¾By 1929 Edwin Hubble’s landmark observations confirmed
the “cosmic egg/expanding universe” concept

¾“This discovery finally

h the
h question
i off the
beginning of the universe into
the realm of science
science.” (Stephan
Hawking, A Brief History of Time)

How far is a light year? 9.47 x 1015 m. (You should be able to calculate this for yourself.)
The first step: Measuring ¾Initially astronomers used a “trigonometric or parallax
the distance of stars approach1” to measure the distance to nearby stars (i.e., those
in our galaxy).
¾A variety of methods are
¾To understand let’s review some basic trigonometry
¾increasing complexity Have trouble remembering
sines and cosines?
as distance from earth Use SohCahToa

¾We will discuss two θ
of these methods
¾Parallax (10 - 100 ly)
¾Cepheid variable If we can measure the side B, and the angle theta (θ), then we can use
the equation
stars (500 – 10 ly) 8
L = B/[tan(θ)] 1Also referred to as the surveyor’s method
A giant leap for humankind? Knowing the size of the Earth's orbit around the sun enables parallax measurements to
reveal the distances of the nearest stars. Successive steps up the "ladder" are required, in turn, to reach nearby star
to calculate L. or triangulation.
clusters, bright variable stars, galaxies, and galaxy clusters.
Adapted from The Cosmological Ladder by Michael Rowan-Robinson.

Trig Review Continued: Recall: How is this relevant?

¾A full circle: 2π radians = 360o ¾The Earth orbits around the Sun once a year, with a radial orbit, R ~ 1.5 x 1011 meters.
¾Semicircle: π radians = 180o ¾So over a 6-month pperiod the Earth pposition changes
g byy 2R ~ 3.0 x 1011 meters.
¾Right angle: π/2 radians = 90o ¾If we look at a star once in January, and again six months later in July when the Earth has
¾etc moved to the other side of its orbit, we might see the star move slightly, relative to more distant
stars in the background:


We can use the same method for a situation in which there are two such
triangles, back-to-back:
L = ½ (2B)/tan{ ½(θ)} Distance of star = L = R/{tan(θ/2)}
= (half
(h lf the
th total
t t l baseline)/tan(half
b li )/t (h lf the th total
t t l angle)
l )
Limitation of parallax method: only useful for More on parallax method:
nearbyy stars ¾For small angles
¾tan(θ/2) ~ θ/2 = R/L We are using the script
¾Why? Consider some nearby stars:
¾So in these cases: θ/2 = R/L (in radians)
“L” to represent the
distance in units of ly’s.
Our nearest neighbors are ~ 4 or θ/2 = [[R/L]] x 180/π ((in degrees)
g )
¾Substituting for R = 1.5 x 1011m, and L = (9.46 x 1015 m/ly) x L
light years away = 4 ly
How far is a light year?
θ/2 = 9.08 x 10-4 /L (in degrees)
9.47 x 1015 m. (You should be ¾Now define
able to calculate this for
yourself.) ¾1 degree=1 arcdegree=60 arcminutes=(60x60) arcseconds
¾So θ/2 = [9.08 x 10-4] [3600]/L (in arcsec’s)
What is the pparallax angle
observed from the earth for a In other words: = 3.26/L(ly)
3 26/ (l ) (in
(i arcsecs))
star only 1 ly away? ¾For Proxima Centauri
¾L = 4.2 ly
( ) = R/L ¾then θ/2 = 33.26/4.2
26/4 2
= 1.5x1011m/[9.47x1015m] = 0.8 arcsecs
~ 1.59 x 10-5 (Radians) ¾For stars outside our galaxy, ~ 106
ly away, the parallax is simply too
So small to measure
How is the change from
radians to degrees done? ¾An alternate method is needed to
θ/2 = arctan(1.59x10-5) 10-5
= 1.59 x radians = 9.17 x10-4 degrees measure distance
--- this is a small angle and it gets smaller as the stars get more distant! ¾By the way: our galaxy has a size of about 30,000 ly

Remember our formula:

Astronomical Aside: The parsec unit: θ/2 = R/L Astronomical Aside: The parsec unit: (Continued)
(where θ is in radians)
¾So, a star 1 ly away has a parallax angle (θ/2) of = 3.26 arcsec’s
1.5x 1011 m
¾Alternatively, L θ/2
2 78 x 10-4 degrees = 4.85
1 arcsec = 1/3600 degrees = 2.78 4 85 x 10-6 radians
L(for parallax of 1 arcsec) = R/[θ/2] = 1.5x1011m/4.85x10-6 But as θ/2 becomes smaller, L becomes bigger so to calculate
3 09 x 1016 m
= 3.09 Parsecs from Arcsecs you have to invert:
¾Now converting to light years
L(Parsec ) =
L(for parallax of 1 arcsec) = 3.1 x 1016m / [9.47 x 1015m/ly] (Arcsec)
= 3.26 ly 2
¾We define a parsec as the distance equivalent to observing a • 5 Arcsecs produces .2 Parsec
parallax angle (θ/2) of 1 arcsec from Earth • 2 Arcsecs pproduces .5 Parsec
¾So • 1 Arcsecs produces 1 Parsec
¾1 parsec = 1pc = 3.26 ly • 0.5 Arcsecs produces 2 Parsec
¾1 M Megaparsec = 1M 26 x 106 ly
1Mpc = 33.26 l • 0.2
0 2 Arcsecs produces 5 Parsec
¾etc • Etc.
Cepheids: Cepheid variable stars hold the key for Hubble realized that
stars in nearbyy galaxies:
g ¾By observing the period of a cepheid, an astronomer could
¾Looking at the “ladder;” these stars allow us infer the radiant power or luminosity of a star.
to measure star-distances from 500 – 108 ly’s. ¾By observing the apparent brightness of the star (or flux
¾Henrietta Leavitt (1912): Studied stars in the Milky Way.
Way arriving
i i att the
th earth)
th) andd using
i the
th fact
f t that
th t the
th flux
fl that
th t
She discovered the existence of particular type of star whose energy
arrives at the earth from a star decreases as the square of the
output varies in a periodic way
distance of the star from the earth (see next 2 pages) …
¾An astronomer can infer the distance

Hint: Remember the difference between

Luminosity and Brightness?

So, with Leavitt‘s discovery of cepheids, Hubble was in a

position to measure the distance of stars extending all the
Their utility for Hubble arose from the fact
way out to distant galaxies
that there is a very regular, predictable
When he did this he made a remarkable discovery.
discovery To
relation between the period of a Cepheid
understand this discovery, we need to review one
and the total radiant power or luminosity
other aspect of physics …the Doppler shift.
emanating from the star.

Stars radiate energy in all directions -

spherically. Thus the light intensity
Think of a Cepheid star as a special kind of light bulb that switches on and
(number of photons per unit area per unit
off at a particular speed depending on how bright it is is. If the bulb is 100
time) received by an observer drops off
watts, it flashes on and off every minute, but if it's a 50 watt bulb it flashes
as the square of distance - the "inverse
every 30 seconds. Since we know how these bulbs work, we can reverse
square law of radiation intensity."
our analysis: By measuring the time it takes for the bulb to switch on and
SL 1
off, we can tell how bright it must be. =
S 0 L2
Now, if the 100-watt bulb is far away, say down the street in your friend's where SL = Apparent luminosity or brightness
bedroom window, it won't seem very bright to you, as you sit on your (at a distance L from the star)
porch. But since you can measure how long it takes to flash, we can still S0 = Luminosity of star
tell how bright it must be. If you measure how bright the bulb appears to
Thus a star of the same absolute luminosity but twice as far away from
be, or, in other words, how much light is getting to you all the way down
us as another star will appear one-fourth as bright.
the street, you'll find it's a smaller number, say only 10 watts.
If S0 can be estimated for a distant object (e.g., a Cepheid variable), then
distance L can be determined.
The remaining 90 watts are getting lost on the way
way, because it gets
Alternatively, if distance can be determined (e.g., by parallax), then So
dissipated in all directions. Since light fades depending on the distance it
can be determined (e.g., for near-by Cepheid variables in our Galaxy).
has to travel to reach you, and since you know how much light has gotten
Satellite Hipparcos: Main mission was to calibrate the Cepheid variable distance scale
lost you can calculate how far it has had to travel: You can find the
that Edwin Hubble first discovered by accurately measuring the distances to near-by
distance to your friend's bedroom window. Cepheids. Knowing this distance and their apparent brightness, the absolute luminosity
of each Cepheid could be calculated.
Doppler Shift:
¾ As the velocity of a source of waves changes relative to the receiver
the frequency and wavelength of the wave also changes


For an example, using sound see:

Red shift: λ = λo (1 + ν/c) > λo for objects moving away
Blue-shift: λ = λo (1 – ν/c) < λo , for objects converging

When Hubble observed Redshift Example:

the spectra of light ¾Sodium (Na) has an absorption band at
i i ffrom di
t t λο = 0.5 μm (= 5 x 10-7m)
stars he observed a
¾Suppose we observe a Na-like line in the spectrum of a
strangeg redshift in the
frequency and di t t star
distant t att
wavelength of the λstar = 0.506 μm
specific absorption lines ¾What is the velocity of the star relative to the earth?
associated with specific
atoms in the stars outer ¾The Doppler
pp formula:
t h …
λstar = λο (1 + v/c), where v = recession velocity
v = (λstar – λο) c/ λο = (0.006/0.5) 3 x 108 m/s
These are the spectral lines of burning sodium atoms,
as measured by a light spectrometer. When heated,
sodium atoms always emits spectral lines at the same 6 x 106 m/s = 3600 km/s
= 33.6
frequencies; the electromagnetic "barcode"
unambiguously demonstrates the presence of the
Hubble’s Findings (as published in his 1929 paper: More recent and precise measurements suggest that Ho ~ 50 – 100 km/s/Mpc

Distance ((106 p
parsec’s = 3.26x 106 ly’s)
y )

1. Stars are moving away from us

2 The greater the distance from us the faster the stars are receding
3. The recession velocity obeys the following formula: v = HoL
4. Ho = Hubble constant

The debate over the value for Ho is vigorous The scientific community’s interpretation:
¾The universe is expanding
¾At some earlier time (~ 10 – 20 bya), all matter was
contained at a single point and was ejected outward by an
l i eventt (i.e.,
(i the
th Big
Bi Bang).
B )

¾The next lecture: A more detailed examination of the

these conclusions and their implications

As we’ll learn in the next lecture, the picture has become even more complicated in recent
years… it appears that the rate of recession is increasing with time!