Cosmology - current

Dr Andrew Conway

Particle physics

The Standard Model

The Standard Model says there are a small number of fundamental particles; fundamental because they are not known to be made of "smaller" particles:

Standard model - particles

Standard_model particles

Source: MissMJ CC-BY SA 3.0

Particle masses

Anti matter


Fundamental forces

For historical reasons, it is often stated that there are four fundamental forces:

Unification of forces

The big bang model

Problems with the big bang model



Big bang timeline

Source: ESA/Planck License: see source.

The Early Universe

This era of the Universe is difficult to describe, so take the times given below as being indicative only.

The Young Universe

Photon epoch


The Dark Ages

In summary

The Big Bang model with inflation and Λ-CDM provides a description of our Universe and its evolution in terms of the laws of physics we can verify in our laboratories, in particular, General Relativity, and the Standard Model of particle physics.

But, several inter-related questions need answers (or perhaps questions need to be posed more accurately!):