This is an introductory level course about the history and philosophy of astronomy, the oldest science. We'll look at how humans learned to ask questions about the universe, and even before the invention of modern instruments like the telescope, learned some amazing things about their place in nature. We will start with prehistoric cultures who kept accurate calendars and move through the time of the Greek philosophers who laid down the rudiments of logic and mathematics and the modern scientific method. We'll then examine the revolutions of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton that redefined our place in the universe. We will then learn about the revolutions in physics in the early 20th century that redefined our ideas of space and time, mass and energy. Finally, we will discuss how modern cosmology has shown us that we live in an ancient universe (14 billion years old), in one galaxy in a universe of hundreds of billions of galaxies. At the end, will ask questions that don't necessarily have answers. What came before the Big Bang? Is there anything outside our universe? What is reality? We'll finish by looking at the role of life in the universe and ask whether the earth is the only place with biology on it.
Knowing the Universe: History and Philosophy of AstronomyUniversity of Arizona
No experience necessary
No experience necessary
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is the state’s land-grant university and a member of the Association of American Universities—made up of just 62 universities in the country. As one of the world’s premier public research universities, the university conducts more than $625 million of research annually. Home to two allopathic medical schools in Tucson and Phoenix, the UA Tech Park, and a member of the Arizona Space Grant Consortium, the university creates an $8.3 billion economic impact for Arizona. U.S. News and World Report placed 14 University of Arizona graduate programs among the top 20 in the nation and it is one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright Scholars. With its strategic academic and business plan, “Never Settle,” as its guide, the university is producing graduates who are global citizens, engaged leaders, and fulfilled individuals.
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The course may offer 'Full Course, No Certificate' instead. This option lets you see all course materials, submit required assessments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate experience.
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Is financial aid available?
Yes. In select learning programs, you can apply for financial aid or a scholarship if you can’t afford the enrollment fee. If fin aid or scholarship is available for your learning program selection, you’ll find a link to apply on the description page.