2MASS JHK image of the Milky Way, superimposed against CMB fluctuations from WMAP Spring 2006 ASTR 5770 Homepage

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 concept Spring 2006 ASTR 5770 Cosmology: Fiske "Big Bang" Project


The goal of the Fiske project is to create a draft of a "Big Bang" show for the Fiske planetarium. The show is to be aimed at lower division undergraduate classes and the public. Your draft will be edited and modified into a final show by Fiske staff and by AJSH during Fall 2006.

By participating in the creation of this show, you will gain hands-on experience with (pre-digital) planetarium technology, with "outreach", and with the steps involved in the process of creating a show. You will meet "assessment", in which materials are tested against an audience to assess how well the goals of the show are being achieved.

Working in groups of two, you will create visuals and narration for 5-minute segments that, we hope, will subsequently become part of a final public show to be launched in Spring 2007. Each group will narrate its own segment, assisted by Fiske audio expert Tom Muncie. You may use visuals from elsewhere (no copyright violations please), or you may create your own original visuals. Fiske staff can provide some help with visuals, but please be considerate of their time and effort. If necessary, you can use stand-in visuals, as long as your proposed visuals are well defined and feasible.

The show you create will be a draft show, not a final product. Expect what you produce to be subject to heavy editing, even cutting altogether from the final public show. Among other things, we have to worry about continuity between different segments, and the coherence of the show as a whole. The final show will have a single narrator, or a small group of narrators.

Please note that assessment is not the same thing as grading. The responsibility for grading rests solely with me, although I will solicit your evaluations of each other's segments. I will grade your segment based on:


Date Where What Purpose
Jan 20 Class Organizational session Discuss process and assessment, form into groups of two, choose topics.
Feb 3 Fiske Intro to Fiske Meet Fiske people, see examples of what Fiske can do, watch excerpts from the current "Big Bang" show and from Erica Ellingson's modules.
Feb 17 Class Goals, concepts Each group enunciates its goal, presents its concept, and poses an assessment question.
Mar 3 Class Treatment, storyboard Each group presents its idea for script and visuals.
Mar 17 Fiske Fiske confab Unstructured conversation with Fiske people about feasibility.
Apr 14 Fiske Presentations Final presentations at Fiske before an assessment audience.
Apr 21 Class Debrief What to do to make the show better?


Topic Group Goals
Prolog Everyone (1) Overall picture.
(2) Time scales, distance scales.
Expansion + Geometry of the Universe Dewey + Alaine (1) Explain discovery of Hubble Law.
(2) Conclude from that that there was a "Big Bang".
(3) Show rough timeline of the universe (an even briefer history of time).
(4) Explain how expansion of the universe has no center using 2D analog.
Galaxy clustering + Dark Matter Jessie + Preety (1) Scale of the Universe.
(2) Cosmological Principle.
(3) Large Scale Structure.
(4) What is Dark Matter?
High redshift supernovae + Dark Energy Phil + Kyle (1) Understand that the universe is expanding and accelerating.
(2) Understand the concept of a standard candle.
(3) Pique interest in the unsolved problem of dark energy.
Cosmic Microwave Background Colin + Edmund (1) Demonstrate that the CMB was a successful prediction of the Big Bang theory.
(2) Explain the concept of redshift.
(3) Illustrate how the CMB constrains cosmological parameters.
Matter-Antimatter asymmetry Quyen + Nick + Brian (1) What is antimatter?
(2) Annihilation.
(3) The Universe is dominated by matter.
(4) Why is this so?
Inflation Amy + Ken (1) Understand what inflation was: timeline, expansion.
(2) Understand cause (why) of inflation: previous state of Universe, particle astrophysics, energy, phase transition.
(3) Understand cosmological issues that inflation solves: continuing expansion of Universe, horizon problem.

 2MASS JHK image of the Milky Way, superimposed against CMB fluctuations from WMAP Spring 2006 ASTR 5770 Homepage

syllabus | timetable | reports | project | problems | diagrams | links | text

Updated 2006 Feb 17