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Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics - Lecture 19

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Lecture 19 - Omega and the End of the Universe

Class begins with a review of the issues previously addressed about the origin and fate of the universe. The role of gravity in the expansion of the universe is discussed and given as the reason why the rate of expansion cannot remain constant and will eventually slow down. The actual density of the universe is calculated using various methods. Finally, the unsolved problem of dark matter is addressed and two explanatory hypotheses are proposed. One is that the universe is comprised of WIMPs (Weakly Interactive Massive Particles) that fulfill two requirements: they have mass and do not interact with light. The second hypothesis is that dark matter is made of MACHOs (Massive Astrophysical Compact Halo Objects), which scientists have attempted to identify through gravitational lenses.

Prof. Charles Bailyn
ASTR 160 - Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics, Spring 2007
(Yale University: Open Yale)
Date accessed: 2009-05-12
License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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