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In this lesson, students explore the cosmic microwave background to understand why a completely smooth (isotropic) background poses problems for the Universe we see today. Students will participate in an engagement activity which demonstrates how very small variations in a pattern are unrecognizable without the use of technology. In the exploration and explanation sections of the lesson, students will understand why Big Bang theory requires variations in Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation (anisotropy); they also examine the significance of both anisotropic and isotropic observations. Finally, in the extension and evaluation sections, students complete activities that further reinforce and demonstrate their understanding of the material presented. This activity is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1993 Cosmic Times Poster.
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