The Big Bang, Black Holes, & the Future of the Universe

OSH 802 / Non Credit
Course taught in: English
Locations: TBA
Instructor: Mark Egdall 

Thursdays 1:00 - 2:45 pm

Course Description

How did we get here? Was the universe always as it appears today? What is its future? We explore these profound questions with the first scientific theory on the origin and evolution of the universe: the big bang. We will also explore black holes. Do they stop time itself? Are they wormholes to another universe? No prior physics training required.

Week 1

Welcome and Overview Learn about the Uncertainty Principle and its amazing implications. Does matter appear spontaneously out of empty space? Einstein’s relativity says that gravity warps time and space itself. Is time travel possible?

Week 2

In the Beginning: The Big Bang We will discuss Einstein’s Equation of the Universe. Learn why he added a” fudge factor” which he later called the greatest mistake of his life. The primordial fireball from 13.8 billion years ago still glows today -- compelling evidence for the Big Bang. 

Week 3

The Big Bang (continued) Trace the evolution of our universe from the Big Bang (time zero) to the present day. Does inflation theory tell us how matter itself was created? What are dark matter and dark energy? What do they tell us about the fate of our universe? 

Week 4

Black Holes: What Are They?  Learn the life history of stars, and how spectacular supernovas and neutron stars are formed. Are black holes wormholes to another universe?


Week 5

Black Holes: Do They Really Exist? We will present new gravitational wave evidence for black holes. What happens if you fall into a black hole? Does a black hole stop time? Take a virtual trip to a black hole at the center of our galaxy.


Week 6

Quantum Gravity  Come explore the latest attempts to develop a “theory of everything”. What is String Theory? Will the theory reveal what happened before the Big Bang?


Mr. Mark Egdall retired to South Florida several years ago after a thirty-five-year engineering and management career. He has been teaching at other South Florida lifelong learning programs since 2006 and at OLLI @ UM since 2010.

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