Cosmology is the study of the large-scale properties of the universe as a whole, including its physical structure, history (i.e., origin and development), and possible futures.
The scientific approach to cosmology encompasses several related fields of science:
- Astronomy — direct observation of "the heavens", which began (most likely) very early in the history of humankind and eventually led to relatively accurate mathematical models of planetary motion in the solar system
- Mechanics — increasingly accurate models of the behavior of matter in the universe as a whole, including the observations of Galileo and Newton's laws of motion and universal gravitation
- Relativity — Einstein's "large-scale" theories of energy, matter, motion, and gravitation that supported the Big Bang model of the origin of the universe and predicted the existence of singularites called black holes
- Particle physics — "small-scale" models of matter and energy, necessary to explain the behavior of the early universe as well as black holes
- Quantum mechanics — theories of matter and energy on the smallest scales and at the earliest times in the history of the universe
Metaphysical and religious cosmology
This section is not yet written.
Cosmological arguments for the existence of God
There is also a class of related philosophical arguments for the existence of God called cosmological arguments.