Do we really understand gravity? Physicists think, maybe…

NGC 3021 Hubble
Image via Wikipedia

I wasn’t smart enough to really ‘get’ physics. Or maybe, I didn’t have the time to dedicate to trying to understand physics. Either way, it doesn’t matter too much, because I love it even if I don’t quite understand it!

I think that scientists that ponder and try to solve the mysteries of the universe are some of the coolest people on the planet! Really, I do.

Back before reality TV was popular, networks tried to gain viewers with ‘content’, and I watched documentaries, and science shows all the time. Today, I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds from science oriented blogs and sites like National Geographic and Scientific American. I came across another fascinating article on the current debate on why the universe is actually speeding up instead of slowing down like scientists have theorized all along.

The two current ideas floating around in space(pun intended), is that we either don’t really understand gravity like we thought we do, or that there is dark matter that rules the universe. And, that we just can’t see it, hence the name ‘dark matter’.

If you like reading articles about this kind of stuff like me, read on…

What goes up must come down. Few on Earth would argue with the fundamental law of gravity. But today the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists who uncovered a dark side of the force.

New Nobel laureates Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess of the U.S. and Brian Schmidt of Australia contributed to the discovery that the universe is not only expanding but also speeding up.

The finding led to the now widely accepted theory of dark energy, a mysterious force that repels gravity. Measurements show that dark energy accounts for about 74 percent of the substance of the universe.

But more than a decade after the Nobel-worthy find, scientists are still trying to pin down exactly what dark energy is and and thus solve what some experts call “the most profound problem” in modern physics.

via Physics Nobel Explainer: Why Is Expanding Universe Accelerating?.

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The Importance of Learning about the History of the Universe

Time Begins in Our Universe with a Big Bang
Image by garlandcannon via Flickr

Yesterday I was blown away by a story of a CANADIAN school board near Edmonton that has out-sourced it’s public education onto the Catholic Church. Parents have no option but to enroll their kids in the schools! What the hell? Apparently about 30% of the population there(population of 8000) is Catholic. The views of the 70% of the population that don’t define themselves as Catholics doesn’t seem to matter. Continue reading “The Importance of Learning about the History of the Universe”

The Big Bang until Now!

I hope you are all having a nice weekend so far. I know I am…

For your viewing pleasure, here is a HUGE picture of the Universe from the Big Bang until now. How can that be? Isn’t the earth only 6,000 years old, and flat?

CMB_Timeline75.jpg

Dinosaurs had it rough

Dinosaurs were said to have slowly died after a pretty large asteroid hit the earth. It seems that a recent bit of work on the subject has determined that the asteroid may have been half the size than originally thought. A paltry 4-6 kilometers across…I don’t know about you, but that seems pretty damn big!!!

[From “Dino Killer” Asteroid Was Half the Size Predicted?]

Another thing that appartently occurred during the Cretaceous era, was that there wasn’t a lot of cloud cover to protect the atmosphere, and reflect the sun’s energy. Temperatures rose dramatically, and it is suggested that it effected plant growth, and the whole food chain. The researchers are paticularly interested in the effects of green house gases, so we can try to fix our current global warming crisis.

[From Lack of Clouds Amplified Dino-Era Warming, Study Says]

1051

On the other end of the spectrum was the year 1600. An eruption of a Peruvian volcano may have cooled the earth and created grave conditions for crops, with frost and famine killing plants, and may have created great social unrest.

[From “The volcano that changed the world”]

Today seems to be a busy day on the science front!

When I was a kid, I would lie on the porch at night with my sister and stare up at the stars. We would try to wrap our heads around the vastness of the universe. That it went on forever. Or does it? The Big Bang theory is kind of hard to understand, but if you have ever asked “what happened before the Big Bang”, then here is a neat story. My only question about this article, is where do you come up with the math to recreate the Big Bang and before?

[From “Did pre-big bang universe leave its mark on the sky?”]

Which Big Bang do you mean?

The Big Bang is an amazing theory about the beginnings of the universe. It has a strong hold amongst scientists. Here is a relatively new idea that the Big Bang happens over and over again. I think it is pretty cool, and makes sense.

Physicist Neil Turok: Big Bang Wasn’t the Beginning. What do you think?

Another great topic that scientists and intelligent design groups like to “debate” is that nature seemsbig_bang to show some form of design. Well, it turns out that biologists seem to feel that evolution does use certain successful designs over and over again. Do they finally agree? The big difference is that scientists don’t think an “invisible man” made those designs.

Science Centric | News | There is ‘design’ in nature, Brown biologist argues:

castroAnd on a final note, Fidel Castro resigned today. He has put on a long fight against the big kid in the schoolyard. Even though many feel he wasn’t a great leader, I feel he deserves some respect.