Physics KS3 / GCSE: The Oldest Light in the Universe

Professor Brian Cox is able to witness the oldest light in the Universe, by listening to its stretched wavelengths through a radio.

This first light from the Big Bang has been stretched and transformed into radio waves and microwaves and is known as the Cosmic Microwave Background, or CMB.

This clip is from the series Wonders of the Universe.

Teacher Notes

Students could watch this clip as part of a learning sequence on the origins of the universe.

They could research in more detail the way that the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation dramatically shifted interest away from the Steady State theory and remains one of the most compelling pieces of evidence in support of the Big Bang theory.

Students can use a manually tuned radio or television to detect some of the CMB radiation.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Physics.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 5 in Scotland.