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What does a cosmologist do?

  1. Aug 22, 2008 #1
    when do a person earn that title?

    is it self-appointed or does the person has to have done something in that field? and what is considered the field of cosmology as it is a bit from relativity to quantum mechanics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2008 #2
    Google would be a good start... :uhh:
  4. Aug 22, 2008 #3


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    A cosmologist is a mathematician with an interest in physics at large scales. The observational evidence is thin and open to interpretation - the perfect setting for a highly disciplined scientist.
  5. Aug 23, 2008 #4


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    When you say title it sounds like you are talking about degrees, like PhD, and professorship ranks. It has institutional connotations.

    Some universities have a separate department of Astronomy, or a department of Astrophysics, which is separate from the main Physics department. In other universities Astronomy is included in the Physics department.

    So in some cases you would just get a PhD in Physics and you would then do your research in cosmology. Cosmology would be your specialization. there is not always a separate TITLE for a research specialty. People would get to know that your special interest was cosmology after you had published some papers in that field.

    If you got to be promoted to a professorship, then you would be Professor of Physics, or Professor of Astronomy, depending on how the departments were organized. But you would not normally have a title like "Professor of Cosmology".

    The people I think of as cosmologists are people whose work I know, the ones I see being invited to give the featured talks about cosmology at conferences, and being invited to write the major survey papers reviewing the progress in their specialty. They are usually the ones whose papers are highly cited by other researchers in that field.

    I don't think there is an official certificate. It is just a type of astronomer.
  6. Aug 23, 2008 #5


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    ...or in some universities Astronomy is a part of the mathematics department :wink:

    To the OP: I think marcus gives quite a good description of whom would be considered a professional cosmologist.
  7. Aug 23, 2008 #6
    I'm assuming you're using "I" to mean "I and other gurus like me". Otherwise the title has gone to your head :smile: But if so, by your definition, Friedmann was not a cosmologist for most of the 1920s.
  8. Aug 23, 2008 #7
    Friedman also wasn't alive for most of the 1920s.
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