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Inspiring Minds Online: Physics

Astrophysics and Cosmology

During the 1920s, Edwin Hubble discovered that the Universe was expanding. This was contrary to what many scientists thought at the time, including Albert Einstein. While Hubble's Theory of General Relativity predicted a dynamic Universie, Einstein remained convinced of a static Universe. Hubble's results proved that the initial predictions of General Relativity were correct.

 

1. Can you suggest some reasons why we do not see a bright sky at night?

‌‌When you look at the night sky, you see mostly darkness. In an infinite Universe with infinite stars you would expect a bright night sky. This is known as Olber's Paradox.

2. Below is a graph showing data used by Edwin Hubble to calculate the Hubble Constant.

‌‌The Hubble Constant is used to determine the rate of expansion of the Universe. Hubble found that there was a relation between the separation of two objects and the velocity that they were moving apart.

Use the graph to estimate the Hubble Constant. How accurate do you think this value is?

3. Energy conservation in Cosmological Redshift

‌The expansion of the Universe causes a phenomenon known as Cosmological Redshift.

A blue photon that was emitted in one galaxy may be observed millions of years later as a red photon. A red photon has less energy than a blue photon.

Can you explain what happened to this energy?


 

For the best submission in each subject, there will be a £50 Amazon Gift Voucher plus some Loughborough University clothing.

All submissions must be made by uploading a Microsoft Word document.

The deadline for the current Inspiring Minds: online series is midnight, Thursday 29 March 2018.

Physics at Loughborough University

Dr Phil Sutton explains the Physics behind the perfect break in Snooker.