Archive for the ‘cosmology’ category

Mar 3, 2024

Building a theory of quantum gravity

Posted by in categories: cosmology, mathematics, particle physics, quantum physics

The Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI) in Cambridge hosted a research programme on one of the most pressing problems in modern physics: to build a theory that can explain all the fundamental forces and particles of nature in one unifying mathematical framework. Such a theory of quantum gravity would combine two hugely successful frameworks on theoretical physics, which have so far eluded unification: quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of gravity.

The Black holes: bridges between number theory and holographic quantum information programme focusses on black holes, which play a hugely important part in this area, on something called the holographic principle, and on surprising connections to pure mathematics. This collection of articles explores the central concepts involved and gives you a gist of the cutting edge research covered by the INI programme.

Mar 3, 2024

Science 101: What are Dark Matter and Dark Energy?

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, particle physics, science

Argonne’s Science 101 series takes you back to the basics, with plain-language explanations of the scientific concepts behind our pivotal discoveries and our biggest innovations.

In this Science 101 video, postdoctoral researchers Gillian Beltz-Mohrmann and Florian Kéruzoré explore two of the biggest mysteries in science: dark matter and dark energy. These strange influences seem to be stretching the universe apart and clumping stuff together in unexpected ways. Together, they make up a whopping 95% of the universe, but because we can’t see or touch them, we don’t know what they are.

Continue reading “Science 101: What are Dark Matter and Dark Energy?” »

Mar 3, 2024

Wait … Did We Finally Find the Source of Dark Energy?!

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

For the first time ever, we can explain its entire existence with no new physics.

Mar 2, 2024

James Webb Detected Intensely Red Supermassive Black Hole in Early Universe

Posted by in category: cosmology

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has detected a unique and “intensely red” supermassive black hole hidden in one of the oldest part of the universe.

Scientists proposed the reddish black hole was the outcome of an enlarged universe just 700 million years following the Big Bang, as given in a paper published this month in the journal Nature. Its colors are because of a solid layer of dust compressing a lot of its light, they said.

Whereas for the first time the cosmic monster was technically invented last year, astronomers have now spotted that it is much more massive than anything else of its type in the field, making it strange discovery that could rescript the way we think how supermassive black holes increase relative to their host galaxies.

Mar 2, 2024

The Paradox Of Time That Scares Scientists

Posted by in categories: cosmology, singularity

When time reaches its limits, scientists call those moments “singularities.” These can mark the start or end of time itself. The most famous singularity is the big bang, which happened around 13.7 billion years ago, kicking off the universe and time as we know it. If the universe ever stops expanding and starts collapsing, it could lead to a reverse of the big bang called the big crunch, where time would stop. As our distant descendants approach the end of time, they will face increasing challenges in a hostile universe, and their efforts will only accelerate the inevitable. We are not passive victims of time’s demise; we contribute to it. Through our existence, we convert energy into waste heat, contributing to the universe’s degeneration. Time must cease for us to continue living.

Mar 2, 2024

How dwarf galaxies lit up the Universe after the Big Bang

Posted by in category: cosmology

Some of the faintest objects ever observed suggest that small galaxies get the credit for clearing the ‘fog’ pervading the early cosmos.

Mar 2, 2024

Youngest neutron star detected turned 37 years old last Friday

Posted by in category: cosmology

The youngest neutron star detected so far turned 37 years old last week. To celebrate, James Webb Space Telescope has finally found the most direct evidence of it, hiding among the remains of the supernova cloud it was born in.

Usually when we’re talking about the age of astronomical objects, it’s in the millions or billions of years – so finding something that’s younger than Lady Gaga feels weird. Even weirder is being able to trace its birth to a specific date – February 23, 1987, meaning it just clocked over to its 37th birthday last Friday.

The reason we can so confidently pinpoint the date is because its birth was the result of an event that only happens once every few centuries: a supernova that’s close enough to be observed from Earth with the naked eye. SN 1987A lit up the night sky for a few months in early 1987, and was quickly traced to the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy orbiting the Milky Way, about 168,000 light-years away. There, a blue supergiant star appeared to have collapsed and exploded, which should have left either a black hole or a neutron star.

Mar 1, 2024

Discover the universe’s oldest black hole, defying the mysteries of space

Posted by in categories: cosmology, innovation

Embark on a cosmic journey as we explore the latest breakthrough in black hole research. Recently, scientists revealed the discovery of the oldest black hole ever observed.

Mar 1, 2024

Black Holes Were Such an Extreme Concept, Even Einstein Had His Doubts

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Einstein’s theory of relativity paved the way for black holes’ discovery, but the concept behind their existence was so bizarre that even the scientific visionary was not convinced.

More than a century ago, Albert Einstein stunned the world when he explained the universe through his theory of general relativity. The theory not only described the relationship between space, time, gravity and matter, it opened the door to the theoretical possibility of a particularly mind-boggling phenomenon that would eventually be called black holes.

Continue reading “Black Holes Were Such an Extreme Concept, Even Einstein Had His Doubts” »

Mar 1, 2024

The biggest questions about the Universe’s beginning

Posted by in category: cosmology

Imagine what it must have been like, as it was for so long throughout human history and prehistory, to look up at the wonders of the night sky in ignorance: not knowing what you were seeing or where any of it came from. All you could behold with your eyes were those glittering points of light in the sky: the Moon, the planets, the stars, a few deep-sky objects (or nebulae), and the tapestry of the Milky Way, with no way of knowing what they were made of, where they came from, or what any of it meant.

Today, the story is very different. Nearly all of the night sky objects we can see with our naked eye are objects present within the Milky Way galaxy. A few of those deep-sky objects turn out to be galaxies, with trillions of more galaxies — including small, faint, and ultra-distant ones — observable with superior tools. These galaxies all expand away from one another, with more distant objects expanding at greater speeds than nearer ones.

The expanding Universe swiftly led to the idea of the Big Bang, which was then confirmed and validated. The Big Bang was then modified to include an even earlier stage known as cosmic inflation, which preceded and set up the Big Bang’s initial conditions. That’s the current status of our understanding of the beginning as of today, in early 2024. Here are the biggest questions, both answered and unanswered, that we still have about the earliest phases of our Universe.

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