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What is the difference between cosmology and astrophysics

  1. Feb 24, 2008 #1
    hi. this is probably in the wrong place, but what is the difference between cosmology and astrophysics... i only ask because i wanted to be an astrophysisist, but before i make up my mind for sure i just want to know what cosmology is...


    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2008 #2


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    Astrophysics is concerned about what is the stuff that makes up the universe and how it intereacts. Cosmology is primarily a study of the history of the universe - origins, development, future. Obviously cosmology relies heavily on astrophysics.
  4. Feb 24, 2008 #3
    thankyou... ok then. i have one more question.. what is the difference between astronomy and astrophysics?
  5. Feb 25, 2008 #4
    Err, according to me, astronomy is broader, which studies all the astronomical phenomena. Astrophysics is to apply physics to explain those phenomena
  6. Feb 25, 2008 #5


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    Astronomy is observation - what we see with our instruments. Astrophyiscs is the interpretation of observations based on the laws of physics.
  7. Feb 25, 2008 #6


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    If you are interested in becoming any one of an astronomer/astrophysicist/cosmologist then you don't have to make up your mind for quite some time. What level of education are you at? To give you an idea the education path is pretty much the same for undergrad level and you would only have to decide which particular part of 'astro-spacy-stuff' when you choose a project as a grad student, by which time you would know through what you learn in undergrad much more about the difference between fields.

    What specific advice would be best for you depends on your current age and what country you are in (since education systems vary). Some of these details might help you get better advice. There is also a sub-forum on this site for career and academic guidance and you might get some more and different advice from there.

    Hope that helps!
  8. Feb 25, 2008 #7
    i am defenatly intrested in one of these jobs... probably astro-physics most. but like you say. it to early to say now.
    Im in England, and im choosing my GCSE's, so we havent had many talks about what happens once weve chosen gcse's.
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