Cosmology: Making Sense of the Universe
Guy Consolmagno SJ, Astronomer and Curator of Meteorites, Vatican Observatory, Castel Gandolfo, Vatican City State.
Presented as the initial lecture in the University of Arizona College of Science's Spring 2011 lecture series, "Cosmic Origins." Guy Consolmagno is curator of meteorites at the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo in the Vatican City State. cos.arizona.edu/cosmic/
Our "cosmology" is the sum of our assumptions and deductions of how the universe behaves. With the advent of modern physics, the term has been appropriated by physicists and astronomers to represent a scientific description of the origin and nature of the physical universe. But cosmologies can also be outlined in ways that don't use physics and astronomy. Indeed, there is continual feedback between prevailing nonscientific assumptions about the universe and the scientific picture, with each influencing the direction of the other. We'll look at a series of historical cosmologies, and discuss the sometimes hidden assumptions that underlie modern astronomy.