While it is strange (and disturbing) that some religious conservatives dispute the scientific consensus on the age of the Earth and the universe, another Space.com article this past week (3-10-2018) — Yep, the Earth Is Still Round, Neil deGrasse Tyson Says — reminded me that there’s an even stranger group, namely, those who still play… Continue reading The Earth is round — needless to say?
Following up on the “Ultimate how” question in the context of the Big Bang theory, how far back in time can we actually detect evidence, follow a breadcrumbs trail? To a cosmic dawn? Space.com, among others, today posted articles about research at the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory (MRO), in particular the MRO’s Experiment to Detect the Global EoR… Continue reading Star bright, first light — fingerprint hunt
Perhaps the ultimate why question: Why is there something rather than nothing? Sean Carroll’s blog is a feed on my blog. I enjoyed reading his recent post and paper on this question. Quite a challenge to summarize the topic in 15 pages. I’ve talked before about the issue of why the universe exists at all… Continue reading Ultimate why?
So, on the 10^n scale, today Space.com posed the interesting question “What Is the Biggest Thing in the Universe?” Scientists have created the first map of a colossal supercluster of galaxies known as Laniakea, the home of Earth’s Milky Way galaxy and many other. This computer simulation, a still from a Nature journal video, depicts… Continue reading Biggest thing in the universe?
Wiki’s definition of astrophysics is comprehensive. Contemporary astrophysics often is associated with Big Science programs involving both observational and theoretical work by large, interdisciplinary teams. Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that employs the principles of physics and chemistry “to ascertain the nature of the heavenly bodies, rather than their positions or motions in space.”… Continue reading Astrophysics is what?
I’ve been reading about quantum spin for awhile and taking notes. Hobson’s book1, for example, discusses the foundational experiment which discovered spin. In the mean time, Space.com posted an article today which may serve as a placeholder for the topic while my draft notes on other topics develop. The Space.com article “The Weird Quantum Property… Continue reading Quantum spin — angular what?
I typically add samples of books to my Kindle library when considering purchases. While examining my Kindle library yesterday, I started reading a sample of Art Hobson’s 2017 book Tales of the Quantum: Understanding Physics’ Most Fundamental Theory and then became interested in his background. A Google search found biographical information, references to his books,… Continue reading Point particles RIP
As noted previously, quantum physics has struggled with infinities. A recent Space.com article on black holes reminded me of another part of that saga. Black holes serve as touchstones in several ways. Wiki: … there are some theoretical circumstances where the end result is infinity. One example is the singularity in the description of black… Continue reading Beyond the infinity of black holes
Buzz Lightyear‘s tag line “To infinity … and beyond” reminds me of the mantra in modern physics that the appearance of infinities in equations tells us that we don’t understand something, that our computational model has hit a wall, so to speak. Wiki: Sometimes an infinite result for a physical quantity may mean that the… Continue reading Infinity and beyond … under the rug
A trip down memory lane this week led me to the topic of this post. In exchanging emails with a fellow alumnus, I mentioned the book A Canticle for Leibowitz1 which we read in a freshman English class. He remembered the professor’s name. That led to an exploration of my file cabinets and the class… Continue reading Two cultures redux