ONLINE: This course will closely follow Katie Mack’s bestseller of the same name. The universe had a beginning. With the big bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one planet orbiting a star near the edge of a galaxy that developed life. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? Here we take a mind-bending tour through five possible finales of the cosmos: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay and the Bounce. We will guide you through cutting-edge science and major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory and more as we examine the fate of the universe as currently foreseen by the astrophysics community. | Lecture + Q&A.
Max enrollment: 200.
Class sessions are recorded.
Brand Fortner is a teaching professor at NC State University where he teaches astronomy, astrophysics and physics, and is adjunct professor of physics at UNC. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in high energy astrophysics. Brand founded two scientific software companies, and previously held positions at NASA and Johns Hopkins University. Brand has written books on color vision and technical data, and is in high demand for his public lectures on all things astronomical.