Subscribe
Subscribe
MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
Logo IMG
HOME > My Amsci > Restricted Access

The Hubble Constant and the Expanding Universe



Restricted Access The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and American Scientist subscribers.


If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.

If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:



Abstract:

Figure 7. Evolutionary course of the expanding universe . . .Click to Enlarge Image

In 1929 Edwin Hubble proved that our universe is expanding by showing that the farther a galaxy is from us, the faster it is speeding away into space. This velocity-distance relation came to be called Hubble's law, and the value that describes the rate of expansion is known as the Hubble constant, or H0. Like the speed of light, H0 is a fundamental constant, and it is a key parameter needed to estimate both the age and size of the universe. Since the late 1950s astronomers have been arguing for an H0 value between 50 to 100 kilometers per second per megaparsec, a lack of precision that produced an unacceptably wide range of ages for the universe—anywhere from 10 to 20 billion years. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, Freedman and her colleagues measured H0 to an unprecedented level of accuracy, deriving a value of 72, with an uncertainty of 10 percent—a milestone achievement in cosmology. The new result suggests that our universe is about 13 billion years old, give or take a billion years, and it's a value that sits comfortably alongside the 12 billion years estimated for the age of the oldest stars.


Connect With Us:

Facebook Icon Sm Twitter Icon Google+ Icon Pinterest Icon RSS Feed

Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

  • American Scientist Update

  • An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.

  • Scientists' Nightstand: Holiday Special!

  • News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.

    To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.


Read Past Issues on JSTOR

JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.

The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.

View the full collection here.


RSS Feed Subscription

Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.


Write for American Scientist

Review our submission guidelines.


Subscribe to American Scientist