# I need help Deciding Cosmology or Astrophysics?

1. Dec 2, 2008

### Rayman9102

First i need someone to help break it down whats the difference. Instead of just saying the origins of space is cosmos. Ima tell you what im interested in and let me know which one i will do better in. Im interested in learning about space and how it was created, not only im interested in the dementions and the sun the universe and all of everything in space and how it was created. And more to it. Whats beyond the boundries of space??? Is that all cosmology? And what would be great books to start off with, im already going to buy the physics for dummies book. Just to see what its about. Then if i understand it ill move up more. Im doing this decision because before i go to college i will be prepared, im thinking about making it a career. Any help please???

2. Dec 2, 2008

### Chronos

The difference is a matter of scale. Cosmology deals with large scale stuff like interactions between galaxies whereas astrophysics focuses more on local phenomena, like stellar fusion processes.

3. Dec 3, 2008

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
There is no difference in the path to either of those fields until you have completed a undergrad degree in Physics. At that point you will have the knowledge needed to make your choice. So at this time the only decision you have to make is what university to go to.

4. Dec 3, 2008

### Choppy

So you want to know which field to go into, but you want someone to define them for you?

As Integral said, the path to either field is to first develop a solid foundation in physics, which would come from an undergraduate degree. This should give you the appropriate background to decide on a career path.

5. Dec 3, 2008

### mal4mac

Meanwhile, while ploughing through the boring bread & butter physics, read Brian Greene's "The Fabric of the Cosmos" to keep motivated...

6. Dec 3, 2008

### cristo

Staff Emeritus
No, don't. If you want to read a popular cosmology book, read "Big Bang" by Simon Singh.

7. Dec 3, 2008

### Rayman9102

Thanks alot guys i really appreciate your replys. And thanks for not being rude about the question i asked. The thing is, if anything books on cosmology or astrophysics that can not only say this is how you do it. But in a way i can write it down and learn myself. Sounds hard. But practice does make perfection...

8. Dec 3, 2008

### Rayman9102

I understand what your saying, thanks alot and yes a great book in physics that i can do pencil to paper would help, do you know any books on physics to get started? I know "physics for dummies" is one. Also would "The universe in a nutshell" by Stephen Hawkins, be a good book? Or is that just a book to read?

9. Dec 3, 2008

### Rayman9102

Thanks cronos, thats really the best way i understood it. I think cosmology is whats for me. Im mostly interested not only knowing about the universe, but MORE to it. Like more deeper into the universe, instead of just knowing why its here. Like black holes and whats beyond the boundries of space. Any great colleges you know of? Or anyone know of? For Cosmology, and physics? I live in Florida and it would be nice just to know whats OUT THERE.

10. Dec 3, 2008

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
If you want to read about Physics read the coffee table physics books like A Brief History of Time, and Elegant Universe anything by John Gribbin.

This, however, is MUCH different from actually learning Physics. If you are really interested in pursuing either of these fields you MUST learn Physics. To learn Physics start with math, Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus are essential, they must be learned before you get to any real Physics. If it were easy everyone would do it.

11. Dec 4, 2008

### Rayman9102

Very true and thats why i want to know the best way. Its just TIME and patience. And when your interested in something time= nothing... Im going to buy books on algrebra and trigonometry and calculus. Work my way up untill college. Thanks

12. Dec 4, 2008

### pirtle

If you're looking for a good school, and seeing as how you live in Florida, you should really check out Florida Institute of Technology. It's the school I'm looking into, although I'm only a junior in high school. They're located right on the space coast and have internships with NASA aswell. They've got a great general sciences program of which would help you decide further as to what field you'd like to go into.
Astrophysics and Cosmology are both fields that would interest me as well and this is the school that I'm most interested in going to.

Good Luck with your future endevours!
-pirtle

13. Dec 5, 2008

### Rayman9102

YO I WAS GONNA GO THERE HAHAH THANKS ALOT MAN. Is it alot of money though? Just a random question.

14. Dec 7, 2008

### pirtle

It's pretty expensive.. looks like just under 40 grand a year.

Undergraduate Student Cost Per Year (As of Fall 2007)

* Tuition
o Science and Engineering: $29,940 o Other Disciplies:$27,280
* Room and Board: $8,790 * Books (estimate):$1,200

15. Jan 24, 2009

### Rayman9102

HOLY, WOW, thats expensive lol...