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Original papers

In various exercises, you may be asked to consult key papers from the research literature. The papers you will be asked to use can generally be found in the list below. Most of the links are to local pdf files, but occasionally, where the paper is not available in that format, there is an external link to something else. Papers are listed in chronological order.

Leavitt (1912)
Henrietta S. Leavitt, "Periods of 25 variable stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud", Harvard College Observatory Circular 173 (1912) 1.
Questions (as pdf)
Slipher (1915)
Vesto M. Slipher, Popular Astronomy 23 (1915) 21.
(Thanks to John Peacock of Edinburgh for making this paper available on his Vesto Slipher web page.)
Questions (as pdf)
Shapley (1918a)
Harlow Shapley, PASP 30 (1918) 42.
Questions (as pdf)
Shapley (1918b)
Harlow Shapley, PASP 30 (1918) 283.
Curtis (1920)
Heber Curtis, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 14 (1920) 317.
Questions (as pdf)
Hubble (1929)
Edwin Hubble, "A relation between distance and radial velocity among extra-galactic nebulae", Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 15 (1929) 168.
Hubble and Humason (1931)
E. Hubble and M.L. Humason, "The velocity-distance relation among extra-galactic nebulae", ApJ 74 (1931) 43.
Oort (1931)
Jan Oort, "Some problems concerning the distribution of luminosities and peculiar velocities of extragalactic nebulae", Bull. Astr. Inst. Neth. 6 (1931) 155.
Baade (1944)
Walter Baade, "The Resolution of Messier 32, NGC 205, and the Central Region of the Andromeda Nebula", ApJ 100 (1944) 137.
Gamow (1946)
George Gamow, "Expanding universe and the origin of elements", Phys. Rev. 70 (1946) 572.
Alpher, Bethe and Gamow (1948) (αβγ)
R.A. Alpher, H. Bethe, G. Gamow, "The origin of chemical elements", Phys. Rev. 73 (1948) 803.
Bondi and Gold (1948)
H. Bondi and T. Gold, "The steady-state theory of the expanding universe", MNRAS 108 (1948) 252.
(Hoyle wrote an independent paper on the Steady State in the same year, but his is (as usual with Hoyle's papers) mathematically dense and not for the faint hearted!)
Alpher and Herman (1949)
R.A. Alpher and R.C. Herman, "Remarks on the evolution of the expanding universe", Phys. Rev. 75 (1949) 1089.
Alistair Cameron (1957)
A.G.W. Cameron, "Nuclear reactions in stars and nucleogenesis", PASP 69 (1957) 201.
(Not the classic paper on nucleosynthesis, which is B2FH (1957), but it has the advantage of being only about a fifth as long and much easier to understand!)
Peebles and Dicke (1962)
P.J. Peebles and R.H. Dicke, "Cosmology and the radioactive decay ages of terrestrial rocks and meteorites", Phys. Rev. 128 (1962) 2006.
D. Sciama (1963)
D.W. Sciama, "On the interpretation of radio source counts", MNRAS 126 (1963) 195.
Questions (as pdf)
Dicke et al. (1965) and Penzias and Wilson (1965)
R.H. Dicke, P.J.E. Peebles, P.G. Roll and D.T. Wilkinson, "Cosmic black-body radiation", ApJ 142 (1965) 414.
A.A. Penzias and R.W. Wilson, "A measurement of excess antenna temperature at 4080 Mc/s", ApJ 142 (1965) 419.
(These two papers on the discovery of the cosmic microwave background appear on consecutive pages of the Astrophysical Journal, so they are included here as a single pdf file.)
Questions (as pdf)
Jim Peebles (1966) paper I and paper II
P.J.E. Peebles, "Primordial helium abundance and the primordial fireball", Phys. Rev. Lett. 16 (1966) 410, and ApJ 146 (1966) 410.
Wagoner, Fowler and Hoyle (1967)
R.V. Wagoner, W.A. Fowler and F. Hoyle, "On the synthesis of elements at very high temperatures", ApJ 148 (1967) 3.
Rogerson and York (1973)
J.B. Rogerson and D.G. York, "Interstellar deuterium abundance in the direction of beta Centauri", ApJ 186 (1973) L95.
Questions (as pdf)
Ostriker, Peebles and Yahil (1974)
J.P. Ostriker, P.J.E. Peebles and A. Yahil, "The size and mass of galaxies, and the mass of the universe", ApJ 193 (1974) L1.
Gott et al. (1974)
J. Richard Gott et al., "An Unbound Universe", ApJ 194 (1974) 543.
Questions (as pdf)
Woody and Richards (1981)
D.P. Woody and P.L. Richards, "Near-millimeter spectrum of the microwave background", ApJ 248 (1981) 18.
Alan Guth (1981)
Alan H. Guth, "Inflationary universe: a possible solution to the horizon and flatness problems", Phys. Rev. D23 (1981) 347.
(Click here for a more accessible introduction to inflation, also by Alan Guth.)
Mather et al. (1990)
J.C. Mather et al., "A preliminary measurement of the cosmic microwave background spectrum by the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite", ApJ 354 (1990) L37.
Smoot et al. (1992)
G.F. Smoot et al., "Structure in the COBE differential microwave radiometer first-year maps", ApJ 396 (1992) L1.
Note: this paper contains colour plates, which have been rendered unreadable by a monochrome scanner in the pdf (they are in twice for some reason, but not readable in either case!). For colour versions, look at Plate 1, Plate 2 and Plate 3 (all JPEG images).
Questions (as pdf)