Spergel, David N. Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
Last reviewed:March 2019
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- Lambda cold dark matter model
- Evolution of structure
- Measuring the size of the universe
- Age of the universe
- Alternatives to the hot big bang
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The study of the origin, development, and fate of the universe, including the origin of galaxies, the chemical elements, and matter itself. As a modern scientific discipline, cosmology incorporates astronomy, physics, and chemistry, among many other fields. Cosmologists construct and refine theoretical models that encompass and describe the observable, physical universe. Fundamental questions cosmology seeks to answer include the size and age of the universe, how the universe developed its evident structure of billions of galaxies arranged in a so-called cosmic web, and what the universe's ultimate fate will be (Fig. 1). See also: Astronomy; Chemistry; Galaxy formation and evolution; Physics; Universe
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