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Physical cosmology

Physical cosmology , as a branch of [astronomy] , is the study of the largest-scale structures and dynamics of our [universe] and is concerned with fundamental questions about its formation and evolution.For an overview, see Cosmology involves itself with studying the motions of the celestial bodies and the [first cause] . For most of human history, it has been a branch of [metaphysics] and [religion] . Cosmology as a [science] originates with the [Copernican principle] , which implies that celestial bodies obey identical [physical law] s to those on earth, and [Newtonian mechanics] , which first allowed us to understand those motions. This is now called [celestial mechanics] . Physical cosmology, as it is now understood, began with the twentieth century development of [Albert Einstein] 's [general theory of relativity] and better [astronomical] observations of extremely distant objects.

The twentieth century advances made it possible to speculate about the origins of the universe and allowed scientists to establish the [Big Bang] as the leading cosmological model, which most cosmologists now accept as the basis for their theories and observations. Vanishingly few researchers still advocate any of a handful of [alternative cosmologies] , and professional cosmologists generally agree that the Big Bang best explains observations.

Cosmology is unusual in [physics] for drawing heavily on the work of [particle physicists'] experiments, and [research] into [phenomenology] and even [string theory] ; from [astrophysicists] ; from [general relativity] research; and from [plasma physics] . Thus, cosmology unites the physics of the largest structures in the universe with the physics of the smallest structures in the universe.

Energy of the cosmos

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