Topics: General relativity, Universe, Big Bang Pages: 4 (515 words) Published: May 14, 2013
Title: The Expanding Universe

Objective: To interpret a model demonstrating the theories of our expanding universe.


•1 un-inflated balloon (when inflated, the balloon should have a round shape and be approximately the size of a soccer ball) •Markers
•About 30 cm (12 inches) of string or yarn
•Ruler or tape measure


Note: Read all the instructions for this lab before you begin working! Pre-reading the procedure, will give you a mental picture of what you will be doing and a better understanding the process. 1.Place an un-inflated balloon on a table. The balloon represents the universe. Use a marker to make small, filled-in circles on the balloon. The circles represent galaxies.

2.Pick four of the circles around the balloon and label these A, B, C, and D.

3.Hypothesize what will happen to the distances between the labeled circles when you blow up the balloon ¼ full, ½ full, and ¾ full. Record your hypotheses in the Hypothesis section of your lab report.

4.Measure the starting distances, in inches or centimeters, between each of the labeled galaxies. Record the measurements in a data chart and include this in the Data section of your lab report.

5.Blow up the balloon about ¼ of the way. Use a piece of string to temporarily tie the balloon. (Do not tie the balloon itself into a knot.) Repeat the measurements between the galaxies. Record your findings in the data table under “Distance: ¼ full.”

6.Untie the string. Repeat the same procedures by blowing up the balloon to ½ and ¾ of its full size. Record the measurements in your data chart.

Be sure to include all required measurements in the data chart below.

Data Chart



Un-Inflated balloon (inches or centimeters)


¼ full (inches or centimeters)


½ full (inches or centimeters)


¾ full (inches or centimeters)

A to B...
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