Our Universe 04: Origin and Expansion of the Universe

Download 19.58 Kb.
Size19.58 Kb.

Our Universe 04: Origin and Expansion of the Universe


To interpret a model demonstrating the theories of our expanding universe

Hypothesis(10 points)      


  • 1 un-inflated balloon (when inflated, the balloon should have a round shape and be approximately the size of a soccer ball)

  • Markers

  • About 30 cm (12 inches) of string or yarn

  • Ruler or tape measure


Note: Read all the instructions for this lab before you begin working! Pre-reading the procedure will give you a mental picture of what you will be doing and a better understanding the process.

  1. Place an un-inflated balloon on a table. The balloon represents the universe.  Use a marker to make small, filled-in circles on the balloon. The circles represent galaxies.

  2. Pick four of the circles around the balloon and label these A, B, C, and D.

  3. Hypothesize what will happen to the distances between the labeled circles when you blow up the balloon ¼ full, ½ full, and ¾ full. Record your hypotheses in the Hypothesis section of your lab report.

  4. Measure the starting distances, in inches or centimeters, between each of the labeled galaxies. Record the measurements in a data chart and include this in the Data section of your lab report.

  5. Blow up the balloon about ¼ of the way. Use a piece of string to temporarily tie the balloon. (Do not tie the balloon itself into a knot.) Repeat the measurements between the galaxies. Record your findings in the data table under “Distance: ¼ full.”

  6. Untie the string. Repeat the same procedures by blowing up the balloon to ½ and ¾ of its full size. Record the measurements in your data chart.

Data: (48 points)

Be sure to include all required measurements in the data chart below.




Un-Inflated balloon (inches or centimeters)


¼ full (inches or centimeters)


½ full (inches or centimeters)


¾ full (inches or centimeters)

A to B





A to C





A to D





B to C





B to D





C to D





Once your data chart is complete, use the information to make a plot graph of the data points to be included in the laboratory report form.

(Include graph here; 15 points)


Analysis: (12 points)

After reviewing your data and graph, how do the density and distribution of your “stars” change as the balloon expands?      

Reflection Questions: (15 Points)

  1. Compare and contrast your experimental procedures with the Big Bang Theory.      

  2. How does your balloon represent the Big Bang Theory? What are the shortcomings of the experimental design?      

  3. How does the model you created help to show that the Steady State Theory is inaccurate?      

  4. Suggest a way that a scientist could create an even more accurate model of the Big Bang Theory.      

  5. What will happen to the gravitational force between stars as the universe continues to expand?      

Download 19.58 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2023
send message

    Main page