• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

AS and A Level: Waves & Cosmology

Browse by

Currently browsing by:

Meet our team of inspirational teachers

find out about the team

Get help from 80+ teachers and hundreds of thousands of student written documents

Redshift

  1. 1 When a source of waves is moving relative to an observer (either towards or away) the received waves have a different wavelength to the wavelength transmitted. This is known as the Doppler Effect and we can use it to calculate the speed of a galaxy relative to Earth.
  2. 2 Almost all galaxies show redshift, meaning that the wavelength received on Earth is longer than it was when transmitted. It’s called redshift because the wavelength received has moved towards tor even beyond the red end of the spectrum . Redshift implies that the galaxy is moving away from Earth.
  3. 3 Blueshift can be observed from ‘nearby’ stars and galaxies.

Hubble's law

  1. 1 Using redshift data from a number of galaxies, Hubble plotted a graph of recession velocity, v, against distance to the galaxy, d. This graph continues to be updated and it shows that v = Hod which is known as Hubble’s law. This means that the speed of recession is directly proportional to the distance to the galaxy.
  2. 2 Ho is the Hubble constant and it has a value of about 70 km s-1 Mpc-1, which is equivalent to 2.3x10-18 s-1. 1/Ho= 4.4 x1017 s = 1.4 x 1010 years! This is the age of the universe, about 14 billion years.
  3. 3 We can also find an estimate for the size of the (visible) universe, assuming that the maximum expansion speed is the speed of light. Using Hubble law, c = Hod so d = c/Ho = 14 billion light years.
  4. 4 The uncertainty over the value of The Hubble constant is becoming smaller as measurements of distance to galaxies improve
  5. 5 Since redshift is seen in every direction, the conclusion is that the universe is expanding.

Fate of the universe

  1. 1 The fate of the universe is closely linked to CRITICAL DENSITY. This is a theoretical density that would have enough mass in the universe to keep the expansion of space slowing down forever. The critical density is given by o= 3H2/8 . The universe would be FLAT. An accurate value for H is important, if we want an accurate value for the critical density. Note: H2 means that the percentage uncertainty in H has to be doubled.
  2. 2 If the actual density is greater than the critical density, then the universe will stop expanding at some point and then collapse. The universe is then CLOSED. This outcome is known as the Big Crunch.
  3. 3 If the actual density is less than the critical density, there is not enough mass to stop the expansion and the universe will continue to expand forever. The universe is OPEN.
  4. 4 Determining the actual density is difficult because there seems to be dark matter which we cannot yet detect directly but which can be inferred by the gravitational effects it has. e.g the rotation of galaxies is not consistent with observable mass but with increased mass that may be explained by the presence of dark matter.

  • Marked by Teachers essays 2
  • Peer Reviewed essays 20
  1. Peer reviewed

    Black Holes Research and Report

    4 star(s)

    As the name implies, a blackhole cannot emit or reflect any light; making them practically invisible. If enough mass is concentrated into a small enough region, the curvature of space-time becomes so harsh that nothing can continue to orbit stably; not even light. The ultimate fate of all incoming matter is to be destroyed in a singularity, a region of infinite density. The interior of a black hole is poorly understood because no form of information can ever leave. However new technologies are allowing us to receive a new phenomenon called hawking radiation, so this may be true for only a short period of time.

    • Word count: 2181
  2. Peer reviewed

    Investigation on whether Rubber obeys Hooke's Rule

    3 star(s)

    The return is elastic. Hypothesis I predict that the greater the weight applied to the rubber band, the further the rubber band will stretch. This is because, according to the findings of Hooke's Rule, the extension is directly proportional to the load (i.e. tension force). So if the load increases (i.e. the tension increases), then the extension increases. Furthermore, I think that doubling the load (doubling the tension force), will double the extension. However, the rubber band will reach its elastic limit where the extension will continue to increase, but not increase in proportion to the load due to unusual temperature changes and weaker forces of attraction.

    • Word count: 2411
  3. Peer reviewed

    The Electromagnetic Spectrum

    3 star(s)

    Radio waves are picked up when they hit the antenna of the radio telescope. The wave then goes to the tuner, then to the amplifier, and finally to the plotter. ? For Consumer Goods - these waves are used in the remote control models which people buy. They are also used in radios, televisions and wireless headphones. The antennae on your television set receive the signal, in the form of electromagnetic waves that is broadcasted from the television station. It is displayed on your television screen. Celestial bodies that transmit radio waves: Karl Jansky was the first to determine that radio emission from the heavens could be detected.

    • Word count: 2359

Marked by a teacher

This document has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the document.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the document page.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student document reviewing squad. Read the full review under the document preview on this page.