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Origins of the Universe and How It is Changing

In this worksheet, students explore theories about the creation of the Universe and the red-shift (how the Universe is changing).

'Origins of the Universe and How It is Changing' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  Physics: Space Physics

Curriculum subtopic:  Features of the Solar System

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Around 15 billion years ago all of the matter in the Universe was one single point. Imagine how compacted everything was! The temperature in that single point was more than trillions of degrees Celsius. Nobody is yet sure why or how that single point exploded, and the Universe took a form similar to how we know it today. It all happened in a small fraction of a second and we call this explosion the Big Bang

 

After one-ten-millionth of a second, the temperature dropped to one billion degrees Celsius, what a relief! In one second there were electrons, protons and neutrons and after three seconds hydrogen and helium were formed. 

 

The estimated mass of the Universe is 3 x1052 kg. That means you have to multiply 3 by 10 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000! Not a small mass indeed! How could it fit into that small point? The density was really high. 

 

Scientists have found that the Universe is expanding, which means galaxies are moving away from each other. There is a theory stating that the Universe will reach a maximum size and will then start collapsing, returning to the original small point; this is called the Big Crunch. In order to demonstrate the expanding Universe, you can draw dots on a balloon to represent galaxies and then blow it. The bigger the balloon gets, the faster the dots will move away from each other.

 

Scientists have come to the conclusion that the Universe is expanding due to red shift. Red shift is difficult to understand, so pay close attention:

 


 

The Earth constantly receives signals from all parts of the Universe. The spectrum of white light we receive from the Sun is shown in the diagram as unshifted. Watch the white vertical lines. On the redshifted spectrum of the diagram the white lines are the same distance apart, but have shifted towards the red end. This is light from a distant star and the red shift means it is moving away from us. The opposite happens with blue shift.

To understand red shift a bit better, recall the last time you heard an ambulance or police siren. As it was approaching you the sound was higher pitched than when it was moving away from you, but the sound the siren made was actually the same. It was just that you could hear a different pitch sound depending on its distance from you.

Where was all matter of the Universe before the big explosion?

at a number of locations

in a single point

in the distant galaxies

What is the name of the explosion that gave Universe a form that we can recognise today?

The Big Explosion

The Big Pop

The Big Bang

How many seconds did it take for hydrogen and helium to form?

2 seconds

3 seconds

6 seconds

Select one of the words below to complete the following sentence:

 

The density in that single point before the Big Bang was ________.

high

low

Describe the theory that exists for the movement of the Universe today.

it is collapsing

it is stable

it is expanding

What can you use to demonstrate the expanding Universe?

a balloon

a sponge

a football

What statement describes the Big Crunch theory?

The Universe is expanding.

The Universe has exploded from a single point.

The Universe will reach its maximum size and will then gradually collapse to a single point.

What is the opposite of red shift?

purple shift

blue shift

green shift

What do scientists compare in order to understand the movement of the Universe?

light from nearby stars

light from distant stars

light from the Sun and light from distant stars

What do you need to look at on a light spectrum to detect redshift?

the colours of the spectrum

the red end

the lines

  • Question 1

Where was all matter of the Universe before the big explosion?

CORRECT ANSWER
in a single point
EDDIE SAYS
All matter of the Universe before the big explosion was in a single point.
  • Question 2

What is the name of the explosion that gave Universe a form that we can recognise today?

CORRECT ANSWER
The Big Bang
EDDIE SAYS
The Big Bang is an explosion that released all the matter in the Universe from one single point to start shaping up to what we know it to be today.
  • Question 3

How many seconds did it take for hydrogen and helium to form?

CORRECT ANSWER
3 seconds
EDDIE SAYS
Hydrogen and helium were formed 3 seconds after the Big Bang took place.
  • Question 4

Select one of the words below to complete the following sentence:

 

The density in that single point before the Big Bang was ________.

CORRECT ANSWER
high
EDDIE SAYS
The density in that single point before the Big Bang was high.
  • Question 5

Describe the theory that exists for the movement of the Universe today.

CORRECT ANSWER
it is expanding
EDDIE SAYS
Scientists today believe that the Universe is expanding.
  • Question 6

What can you use to demonstrate the expanding Universe?

CORRECT ANSWER
a balloon
EDDIE SAYS
A balloon can be used to demonstrate the expanding Universe, by drawing dots on it before it is blown up, and then blowing up the balloon and watching the dots move away from eachother.
  • Question 7

What statement describes the Big Crunch theory?

CORRECT ANSWER
The Universe will reach its maximum size and will then gradually collapse to a single point.
EDDIE SAYS
The theory behind the Big Crunch is that the Universe will, at some point, reach its maximum size and will then gradually collapse to a single point again.
  • Question 8

What is the opposite of red shift?

CORRECT ANSWER
blue shift
EDDIE SAYS
The opposite of red shift is blue shift.
  • Question 9

What do scientists compare in order to understand the movement of the Universe?

CORRECT ANSWER
light from the Sun and light from distant stars
EDDIE SAYS
In order to understand how the Universe moves scientists compare light from the Sun and light from distant stars.
  • Question 10

What do you need to look at on a light spectrum to detect redshift?

CORRECT ANSWER
the lines
EDDIE SAYS
In order to detect red shift one has to look at the position of the lines on the light spectrum.
---- OR ----

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