Astrophysics (Index)About


(study of the life of the universe)

Cosmology is the study of the origin, the evolution, and the eventual fate of the universe. The term physical cosmology can be used to specify that physical science is the basis of your study. The term cosmos is a synonym for universe.

Current physical cosmology is based on the cosmological principle that sufficiently basic natural laws that apply here also apply to the far reaches of the universe, i.e., objects observed at a distance are assumed to follow such laws. General relativity plays a big role in current cosmological theory (relativistic cosmology). Current thought places the beginning of the universe at about 13.8 billion years ago, the term for this beginning being the Big Bang.

The adjective cosmological is often used to mean "involving distances or times when cosmology is relevant", i.e., the early universe and distances at which only the early universe is visible because of the time required for the electromagnetic radiation to reach us. The adjective cosmic has the same meaning (at least roughly) and often which is used seems mere preference, or habit regarding a particular phrase, e.g., cosmological distance versus cosmic distance ladder.

A cosmogony is a theory or model of the origin of the universe.

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT)
alternative cosmologies
anomalous microwave emission (AME)
adaptive mesh refinement (AMR)
angular power spectrum
adaptive refinement tree (ART)
band shifting
baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO)
baryonic matter
Big Bang nucleosynthesis (BBN)
Big Bang
cosmic background radiation (CBR)
chemical equilibrium (CE)
ionized carbon fine structure line ([CII])
Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA)
Cosmic Lens All-sky Survey (CLASS)
conditional luminosity function (CLF)
CMB polarization
coherent light
comoving units
cosmic distance ladder
cosmological constant (Λ)
cosmological principle
cosmological simulation
cosmological time dilation
conditional stellar mass function (CSMF)
Carnegie Supernova Project (CSP)
dark matter
Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI)
diffuse emission
distance modulus (μ)
damped Lyman alpha absorber (DLA)
Deep Lens Survey (DLS)
false vacuum
foreground subtraction
f(R) gravity
gigayear (Gy)
general relativity (GR)
gravitational wave background (GWB)
halo mass function
halo model
halo abundance matching (HAM)
infrared (IR)
initial fluctuations
intensity mapping
Institut de radioastronomie millimétrique (IRAM)
Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (ITA)
Kavli Institute
Lambda-CDM model (ΛCDM)
light cone
Limber approximation
large scale structure (LSS)
luminosity distance (dL)
neutrino (ν)
neutron capture
Navarro-Frenk-White profile (NFW profile)
N-point function
particle horizon
peculiar velocity
quantum fluctuations
radio source counts
repulsive dark matter (RDM)
redshift (z)
redshift-magnitude relation
redshift space
relativistic astrophysics
runaway process
scale factor (a)
Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP)
supernova survey
sound speed
standard model
star count
Subaru Telescope
symmetry breaking
Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZ effect)
Thomson optical depth (τT)
timescale (t)
21-cm line
Theory of Everything (TOE)
topological defect
Type Ia supernova
ultra-faint dwarf galaxy (UFD)
weak lensing (WL)
Roman Space Telescope (RST)
Wide-field Multi-object Spectrograph (WFMOS)
Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP)