Science Goals

The science of jwst, its instruments and why he instruments where chosen for the purpose they need to fulfill becomes clearer when locking at light as an electro magnetic wave.
these waves come on wavelengths between y-x nm, with n-m being the visible sore trim. JWST is sensitive to light from p-g. Every frequency being another color.

*give short introduction to structure of knowledge. give user ability to skip/deepdive*

Physics Lesson

The fingerprint of light

Light in the universe is most commonly emitted from stars. Every light source emits light with a particular and distinct fingerprint of spectrum and intensity.
Light of different wavelengths has different properties. For example, radiation in infrared spectrum of ? Nm can penetrate smoke and light textiles, which is why firemen use infrared glasses when the smoke of a fire becomes impenetrable to the human eye.
The fact that jwst can see through cloouds is one of the facts that make the images so exciting. Jwst will be able to see what is happening at the center of giant gas clouds like the pillars of creation, or any other stellar nursery.
Tho light can shine through accumulations of gas such as planetary atmosphere, it does not go through unscathed. The gas leaves its fingerprint in the gas by filtering out some light frequencies more the COMPOSITION OF frequencies of light changes when filtered through an accumulation of gas like an athmosphere. This is because chemical elements of different sizes and charge interfere with light waves of different frequencies. As a result it is possible to draw conclusions about the comoposition of an athmosphere. Light that traveled through an atmosphere rich in oxygen is differnently imprinted then light that passes through an atmosphere rich in sulfur. The planets Venus, Mars and earth each leave a different the light that passed through its athmosphere. Jwst will use this property to scan many exoplanets for signs of an earth like atmosphere, rich in oxygen and with traces of liquid water.


Light takes time to travel. Thus the further light has traveled, the more time has elapsed since the light was emitted. This makes it possible to observe the universe in its earliest stages of development.
The observable universe is literally the part of the universe where enough time has elapsed for the first light that has been Emitted to reach us. This means that the observable universe grows bigger each day by the exact amount of distance it takes light to travel in a day. (calculate that)
The light of the earliest stars has been traveling for more then 13 billion years and when it reaches us, it is very faint, meaning its light waves are very flat. This is why the mirrors oof jwst must be so cold. If they where not, the vibrations of the atoms that make the mirror would noise-out the ripples of light. It is also why the mirror needs to be so big.


The universe is expanding, meaning space itself is expanding and everything inside with it.
This means. That light waves traveling through space are being drawn out like squiggly lines on A rubber band. Since the waves of light are drawn out, the color of the respective light wave shift words red and the longer the light wave has been subject to the expansion, the more redshifted it has become.
Light that was emitted in the visual spectrum 13 billion years ago has since shifted into infrared, which is why jwst is  sensitive to light in these frequencies.

First Light

For us to be able to observe light, there must be a source of light. Photons must have been birthed and been able to travel for us to observe them.Current theories place the first sources of light at about n million years after the inception of the universe. It's JWSTs mission to shed light on the history and circumstances that gave birth to the creation of the first starts.What did the universe look like when the earliest stars formed?

The foggy universe

As currently understood, for the first n mio years it would have been impossible for light to travel very far, because the universe was saturated with free electrons.any photon would have bounced around these electrons, steadily loosing energy. think of a pinball machine. only aftere the electrons where bound to protons to form atoms was it possible for photons to travel uninterruppted. the formation of atoms was only possible after the universe had sufficiently cooled. its possible to imagine this process as fog inhibiting visibility and the view only clearing after the water-particles in the air have clumped together into drops.

Let there be light

when the `smoke` had cleared, the universe was still dark. current theories place the formation of the earliest stars at about N million years after the big bang, which is the period that JWST will study.


Galaxy formation

Current model of galaxy formation are incomplete and miss some crutial details of our observations.

Important questions are the scale of matter, which is to be oserved. from particles to quasars and black holes.

types of galaxies

classified by hubble.

eliptical and dish

theories of formation

bottom up

lambda CDM Model

today we observe two kinds of galaxies. spiral and eliptical. tho we have theories about their formation, they are incomplete and fail to predict some of our observations.

the galaxies of earlier times are more varied in form and composition.

where do the black holes at the center of galaxies come from?

Formation of Sunsystems

questions to be answered by a theory:

why do sunsystems have flat orbits and the orbits of the planets are tidally locked with the suns orbit.

chemical composition of stars and planets. meaning gas-giants, kyperbelt, etc

the current theory of the evolution of sunsystems goes back to 1755, by none other then immanuel kant, the german enlightenment philosopher. the formulated the theory in his book `universalt natural history and theory of the heavens. what a title.

the theory has been heavily revised. the modern versionn, called solar nebular model, is widely accepted.

it perceives sun formation and planet formation to be the result of the same process.

according to the theory and the simulated models, starsystems are the result of giant gasclouds, that, under draw of their own gravity collapse into themselves and form dens spheres of gas and matter, which we call suns and planets.

for this reason, these clouds have been coinded stellar nurseries.

since these clouds are commonly made up of molecullar hydrogen, which our sun is made of but notably only a small fraction of our earths building material.

the exact process that gives rise to planet, such as the one we are inhabiting, is a bit of a mistery.

current theory predicts that, after the gascloud has collapsed and a young star has formed, the start will be surrounded by a so called protoplanetary disk. the theory is that under certain circumstances this disk itself collapses into planet. the disk is spinning around the star, most of the material is feeding into the start.

the first image of such a disk was only taken in 2018.

depending on the compoosition of tchemical elements, their distribution, speed and distance to the  star, various kinds of planed could be spawned. from gas giants like jupyter to rocky deserts like mars.

jwst will seek answers that help us answer the questions of  `how do gasclouds collapse to form first tiny particles the size of a few centimeters, then the size of building and then many 100 km, up to full sized planets we are observing which is made up of many kinds of elements and could potentially be inhabited by a flavor of super-intelligent monkey.

pillars of creation as example of stellar nurseries.

Formation of Planets


habitability of planetary athmospheres

exoplanets are common. over the last couple of decades we found thousands of them in every sort of solar system.

but we dont know what is happeneing on the surface of these planets. is there water? are there oceans? is there a breathable athmosphere?

does a planet support life as we know it?

to answer these questions, jwst will use a technique called spectroscapy.

light is a wave. different color means different wavelength.

chemical elements each interact in their own way with light. every element filters a particular set of frequencies in specific ways.

for example, h2o  leaves footprint a, where as co2 leaves another footprint.

exoplanets are common. over the last couple of decades we found thousands of them in every sort of solar system.

but we dont know what is happeneing on the surface of these planets. is there water? are there oceans? is there a breathable athmosphere?

when light passes a planets athmosphere, it will change the composition of the light. by analysing the spectrum of light that has passed through a planets athmosphere, we can  draw conclusions about the composition of the planets athmospehere.

jwst will scan planets we found over the last decades.

(would be nice to have a map of plannets scheduled for survey)