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From the International Astronomical Union’s Newsletter of the Commission 46 on the Teaching of Astronomy (coauthor Pasachoff was president of the Commission):  An article in the American Journal of Physics, June 2013 (V81, pp. 414-420) describes a useful set of programs that illustrate techniques of analysis in modern cosmology, allowing students to “discover” the acceleration of the Universe. The authors are Jacob Moldenhauer, Larry Engelhardt, Keenan M. Stone, and Ezekiel Shuler from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Francis Marion University, Florence, South Carolina, USA. Here is the abstract of the article: “We present a collection of new, open-source computational tools for numerically modeling recent large-scale observational data sets using modem cosmology theory. These tools allow both students and researchers to constrain the parameter values in competitive cosmological models, thereby discovering both the accelerated expansion of the universe and its composition (e.g., dark matter and dark energy). These programs have several features to help the non-cosmologist build an understanding of cosmological models and their relation to observational data, including a built-in collection of several real observational data sets. The current list of built-in observations includes several recent supernovae Type-Ia surveys, baryon acoustic oscillations, the cosmic microwave background radiation, gamma-ray bursts, and measurements of the Hubble parameter. In this article, we discuss specific results for testing cosmological models using these observational data.”

The software described in the article, called CosmoEJS, is freely available online from ComPADRE.


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