Astronomy 490                                  Homework #8                                         Spring 2007



Important note:  this is a NEW HW8 assignment; the version of HW8 originally handed out in class on April 2 will be saved for a future assignment.  Instead, we will continue discussing Permultter et al. 1999 in the next class.   This assignment also asks you to read some associated Sky&Telescope articles (easy reading) for background as well as updates concerning results of recent measurements of the cosmic microwave background.


Due date:   Monday, April16  at start of class. 


Journal paper:  

   Perlmutter et al. 1999, Measurements of W and Λ from 42 High-Redshift Supernovae

   Astrophysical Journal, 517, 565


Supplementary articles:

   (Carroll was handed out in class; the other two are available on the class web page)


   Carroll 2005, Dark Energy, and the Preposterous Universe

   Sky and Telescope, March 2005 (8 pages)


   Nadis 2005, Sizing up Inflation

   Sky and Telescope, November 2005 (8 pages)


   Naeye and MacRobert 2006, Case Strengthened for Inflation

   Sky and Telescope, NewsNotes, June 2006 (1 page)



1.  Read the Sky & Telescope articles.  Record your questions and comments to turn in.


2.  Reread the Perlmutter paper carefully.   


3.  Write a 1-2 page proposal for your final project.  Before doing this, you must have

     received approval for the general topic from the instructor (by email is okay).   


     Attach a list of 3 to 5 possible papers that you plan to focus on.  You need not read the

     papers in detail yet, but you will need to read enough of them (e.g., abstract,

     introduction, conclusion) to know if they contain the kind of information you want

     and need for your project.  Remember that topics should be chosen in such a way that

     what you have learned in previous courses to enables you to read the papers critically.


     Note that there will still be room after this proposal is submitted to change your

     selection of papers somewhat and/or modify your topic slightly if need be, in  

     consultation with the instructor.