The Age of the Universe

3 Mar, 2011 520 Astronomy

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the age of the Universe.Since the 18th century, when scientists first realised that the Universe had existed for more than a few thousand years, cosmologists have debated its likely age. The discovery that the Universe was expanding allowed the first informed estimates of its age to be made by the great astronomer Edwin Hubble in the early decades of the twentieth century. Hubble’s estimate of the rate at which the Universe is expanding, the so-called Hubble Constant, has been progressively improved. Today cosmologists have a variety of other methods for ageing the Universe, most recently the detailed measurements of cosmic microwave background radiation - the afterglow of the Big Bang - made in the last decade. And all these methods seem to agree on one thing: the Universe has existed for around 13.75 billion years.

Play on BBC Sounds website

Guests

  • Martin Rees 9 episodes
    Astronomer Royal and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge
  • Carolin Crawford 20 episodes
    Member of the Institute of Astronomy and Fellow of Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge
  • Carlos Frenk 2 episodes
    Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at the University of Durham

Related episodes


Programme ID: b00yz3gy

Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00yz3gy

Auto-category: 523.1 (Cosmology and astrophysics)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1654, the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh, James Usher, published a research, published research, in which he said, he proved that the universe had been created at six o'clock on the evening of the 22nd of October 4004 BC.