Taking all-sky surveys / maps to another 10^n level of visualization … So much of modern cosmology depends on the discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation in 1965. Wiki: “Any proposed model of the universe must explain this radiation.” Since then, advances in the tools to measure and analyze that faint, relic radiation… Continue reading Big sim’s – visualizing the universe!
[“What’s changed in the last 50 years” series] The lightness of our being actually depends on heaviness. That is, the physics of heavier elements. Our biology, life itself. So, looking back decades to high school (or even college) chemistry class … The Periodic Table is so much more interesting now. A deeper understanding via quantum… Continue reading Stellar alchemy – more than one way to get heavy?
While Sean Carroll’s latest chat-from-home presentations on his YouTube channel address the “biggest ideas” in the universe, other theoretical physicists explore whether our mind-boggling big universe has sort of a shelf life. A final reservation date, so to speak, at a fantastically socially-distanced restaurant at the end of the universe. Reference: Forbes > “What Will… Continue reading A shelf life for the universe?
Yesterday the buzz started about the announcement of the 2019 Nobel Prize in physics. Here’re some samples of articles on the joint award to three scientists. A testimony to research on the cosmic microwave background radiation (and understanding of the universe’s evolution) and advances in observational astronomy. • Washington Post > “Nobel Prize in physics… Continue reading 2019 Nobel Prize in physics — our place in the universe
In the last few months, I’ve been struck by how many articles have been published in the popular media and science news about black holes and the Big Bang. Mainstream physics and science communications (like phys.org, quantamagazine.org, etc) lately seem to be discussing more and more “mind blowing” geometries of the universe (or multiverse, eh).… Continue reading Cosmological fact and fiction
[Galactic archaeology] 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… Continue reading Star bright, first light — fingerprint hunt
Imagine doing a survey where you ask people “How old is the universe?” – as a multiple choice question: 1,000’s of years 100,000’s of years Millions of years Billions of years Other _______________ What would you expect as a result? Quite a mix? Well, among scientists this question is essentially settled, as indicated in some… Continue reading Age of universe — implications?
We’re all familiar with the saying, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” So, I have a similar problem with modern cosmology: which came first, fields or particles? After the Big Bang … Well, the answer is sort of neither. There was a long evolutionary path from earlier organisms to creatures that laid eggs… Continue reading BB: Chicken or egg redux
So, after viewing some documentaries on modern physics and reading some books by “rock stars” in the field (see below), I felt a need to revisit my past musings, review topics and terminology, and organize all the “wow!” and “huh?” moments in my exploration. Recent media experiences: Everything and Nothing, two linked TV documentaries on Cosmology (Everything about… Continue reading Pondering the infinitely small and large