This Quanta Magazine article (below) is a helpful visual recap of whether the cosmos is “flat” or not. Does the cosmic landscape of stars and galaxies extend / expand in all directions like an endless piece of paper? Or another “flat” geometry – “by cutting a chunk out of Euclidean space and gluing it together.”… Continue reading Does the universe have a shape?
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
Stephen Hawking died last week. Lots of tributes in the media about his scientific legacy and life. Sean Carroll posted an article on his blog on March 16: “Stephen Hawking’s Scientific Legacy.” It’s particularly interesting. As a career physicist and cosmologist, Carroll met and interacted with Hawking over the decades. Early in his career Carroll turned… Continue reading Celebrity and cultural phenomenon — Stephen Hawking
[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
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?
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